There are books and books and books, some interesting, some serious, some boring and some disgusting.
And there are books which are simply beautiful. As we finish them there is this feeling of satisfaction of having lived a great experience.For me one such book is Pather Panchali, written by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay. Long back, I used to finish a book in one sitting but now it is just not possible and that is a blessing in disguise. I am able to enjoy a book for many days, and each time there is this nice feeling of returning to that world. Pather Panchali is the story of two children, Durga and Opu in rural Bengal in the first half of the 20th century.
My grandfather had written about his life in two notebooks at the insistence of his elder daughter. My father had xeroxed it and I have one copy. Life was not very different in Karnataka and in Bengal in those early days. My grandfather’s childhood in his village and the life of the two children in the book are almost the same; social life, social customs and the important part that festivals played in the life of the people. During those days, barter system was more prevalent and people rarely had money in the form of cash. There was a lot of poverty . Life went on for years without much change as there were very little outside influences.
Pather Panchali is a beautiful book , the feelings and thoughts and emotions of the children are beautifully portrayed and they become a part of our lives. There is a feeling of sadness on reaching the last page. The characters are so real that we are left wondering about their future lives,though we know that they are just the creations of the author.
He has very nicely said this about Life- “They were journeying towards an unknown horizon along a road that twisted on its long unending way like the serpent of the world; and at every bend there was something waiting to welcome them, fruit or flowers, laughter or sympathy, with a welcome that was always new.”