I had bought Sylvia Plath’s (Wikipedia: novel, The Bell Jar, almost a year back in one of the numerous book exhibitions in the city. I thought it needed a certain mood to be read or it will probably depress me knowing her story – I was in “see positive, think positive, hear positive” mode for some time. Picked it up as a treat last weekend for finishing the exams better than I thought it would go. After reading first page, it was feeling like how aged wine would probably feel to a connoisseur. So far it has been a very stark perspective of how things look from the other side of the gender divide – hypocritical men and stereotyped expectations. But the writing is from a true master of the craft – to write one sentence like her would be genius. What could she have accomplished if she stayed beyond 30 years?
Sylvia Plath reminds me of another troubled genius, Amy Winehouse, who took her life at age 27 – I had listened to songs from the album Back to Black like Love is a Losing Game, Rehab, Back to Black in repeat for hundreds of times. I still don’t know jazz from blues or any such, but these are songs that somehow never bore me, never gets old or stale. Lyrics, irreverent singing, voice and music is one package in which you can still hear new nuances even after listening too many times. If only somehow they could cross the mark of 30 years. Maybe genius is depressing like having too high expectations out of life.

I wish I could read for hours, putting my feet up on the table, in a reclining chair, with a bag of peanuts like in olden days – finish a book in one sitting and standup with legs that have gone to sleep. The mental images created, the film in which the set, characters and the landscape all imagined with author’s guidance could be played to full. But now it is like a film in ten installments, store away the images and rewind and start from where I left off. Looking forward to a good episode of a classic at end of a long day…  


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