Because When We Read, The World Really Does Get Better


Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Vampire Diaries, Twilight, Path of the Swan, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Shiva Trilogy and many more fanatics and fictional stories that people have been obsessing over from time to time. Though, they all are entirely different and quite subjective when it comes to their likeness, they all have garnered a huge fan base while scooping up the millions, which definitely doesn’t hurt.

We, who swear by the power of our imaginations and others’ creativity, have witnessed the kind of impact these surreal, (un) real worlds have had on our lives. I am not at all ashamed to say that I imagined myself fighting alongside the trio from the world of Harry Potter, and I have also imagined how it would be to possess the ring, or how thrilled I would be if I were a vampire, because immortality and amazing coordination for my real uncoordinated self. It is much more than a fantasy; it provides us with a world we can never hope for or could never imagine, and their absence for our possession makes it all the more exclusive.

We all have done it. Stolen into a bookstore’s hoard of stories then scampered off with a freshly purchased fantasy, the treasure held close, to be savoured in blissful solitude or amid the buzz of bus rides or as a ward against wasting time in waiting rooms. We all have.

However, why do we need a fantasy? Why are we so tempted to immerse ourselves into a world that is not even ours? Why can we not stop ourselves after reading the first line till completing the end of the series? Why do we still indulge into the world of fantasy every now and then? Why?

Is it the fear of missing out that we indulge into someone else’s world, or is it the fear of facing our depressed, tragic, monotonous, compelling life?

Since inception, we have all been promised a happy, successful, blissful life by people at every stage of our lives. However, these things are true for some and not for others, though all of us achieve these things at least once in our life time; if not for a long haul or collectively rather, we do get to enjoy these feels. Is it the inability of fulfilling our expectations that really make us like the idea of a world that promises a happy, sufficient life, regardless of the fact that it’s rocky in the beginning? Are we using these books as a recluse from the world that is real and challenging and harsh? Are we using the books to be at a place we don’t see ourselves in?

There are no concrete answers for such questions, and it’s all immersed in the subjectivity of the matter. Some love these books, some discredit the idea of it. But, regardless the opinions involved, one cannot challenge the impetus it provides to our levels of imagination.

The books describe the tingling sensation of entering the unknown, while continuously fanning our curiosity. The belief in a higher purpose and a deep sense of right emboldens us and gives us the strength to continue in the face of however many hardships and orcs. They give us the strength, hope and the knowledge to pursue our life relentlessly. Fantasy is nothing but a sweet syrup that gulps down the sourness of our lives.

Reading fantasy gives us license to imagine things that never were and never could have been, and we revel in their impossibility. It allows us to recapture the imaginative games of play we loved as children, which expand our minds and allow us to develop into well-balanced adults. Imagination is mankind’s greatest strength. It takes us to the moon. It cures diseases. It lights the first fire.

The wondrous must be imagined before it can become. Fantasy novels are both an exhibition and cultivator of our imagination. And, nothing can diminish the allure of it, not even reality.

Yugansha Malhotra

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