My father would constantly tell the tale of how we, a family of four Indian nationals, almost were caught smuggling a book from the United States to India in the early 1990s (my now and forever home). “You and your brother were both very young, and we had placed the book under the covers that you and him were sitting on,” the narrative says. “But Dad, what about the book?” your brother said from inside the car as I stood outside the car explaining to the police officer that we had nothing to declare.
I’m not sure if the cop didn’t hear or didn’t care, but I froze and thought, “This is it, it’s over if they discover that book.”
To summarise, we were not apprehended, and my uncle received the book. I recall the cover being completely black with only the title inscribed on it.
That story (and many more) have been told to me since I was a toddler. However, because of my passion for literature and history, this one stood out. I was interested in reading it.
I wanted to know what was so bad about this book that countries (not only the United States, but also India, Iran, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Egypt, and others) would outlaw it and, in some cases, put the author to death. Isn’t it possible that it’s only the title?
I also wanted to know what was so compelling about this book that a guy would endanger his own and his family’s lives to read it. During the Apartheid era, even the slightest suspicion might lead to arrest or even death. The horrors that my forefathers and mothers experienced continue to haunt them.
I know this because it took decades for my parents or uncles to tell me tales, and some books they still refuse to read because the agony is still too raw.
Even though I haven’t finished reading it (it’s, um…heavy and difficult, and I’m working my way through it page by page), it’s still part of a history that I’m familiar with. In some way, shape, or form, I wish to comprehend the past. I’d like to understand it so that I don’t repeat it.
My interest in history began when I was a child, and it may compliment my desire to lose myself in books since I just want to absorb everything I can.
While reading may not provide a whole picture of what occurred, it does assist me in understanding that individuals are humans. We occasionally bear that which is not ours, complicated by experience, emotions, fantasies, and wishes and ambitions. And, on occasion, we own less of what we should, particularly the unpleasant features.
To top it off, if you believe in reincarnation or previous lifetimes, knowing your own history becomes much more difficult.
I’ve learned to channel this by delving into the depths of other people’s pasts, whether via books, movies, or listening to their experiences. At the same time, the similarities and distinctions are contrasted and hazy. It may make me too understanding or less connected, but it’s the only way I can make sense of anything I don’t fully comprehend. It is for this reason that I value the past, history, and people’s experiences so highly.
Next blog will be out soon.Desai Thoughts MEdia.
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