Norwegian Wood

Read till the end to find some plans ahead for us to read together.

We’re talking about a book written by a Japanese author. The book is a mixture of magical realism and concepts our minds question the bigger universe about. I see this is the heart of my first Murakami book. And, I love it.

Word of trust

Before I talk about the book, I am aware of my responsibility as a lover of books to not spoil it for anyone. It’s a strange approach that I had to come up with, to not talk about the book and yet speak lengths about it. I love such challenges. You can be rest assured that you will (if you ever plan to) read the book without having lost a single surprise the author has set stage for. It will be as fresh as you’d want it to be. However, you still have the option to read the book before going ahead with this article in any case that you can’t trust someone on the internet. No pressure, but only a little.


As it happens, author Haruki Murakami was to be seen everywhere on the internet well before I decided to read his books. This made me curious. What was he to offer? Why do people have an obsession over Murakami?

The name definitely sounds like I’ve known it for ages.

After reading this book, I’ve found that the hype is valid. He’s just too brilliant, and you might not notice without taking a look. Some might even go ahead and call it underrated, this hype.

Norwegian Wood happens to tell me a lot about the hip-culture in the 20th century, in it’s own subtlety. It lays out clear descriptions of what I always imagined of Japan. It might as well be only my intention to perceive the book as calm, which I hope resonates with Japan’s culture.

This close relationship of Murakami with the calm, makes me want to take a look at my breath. Every breath is precious and yet inexpensively fundamental. You can try meditating a few seconds now. Close your eyes if you’d like, and watch (observe) your breath and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Try it.


Now, locations – the stage for drama. A writer might speak lengths about the location of the story, and so does Murakami here. Yet I found that this story particularly doesn’t rely much on the terrains of all the characters’ lives. I reckon it’s motive is to set the grounds clear for bigger conclusions. But, Murakami does this metaphorically at a level I have never come across. You’ll breathe in the nature that surrounds the paragraph. If the winds are harsh, watch out. The sun’s scorching heat might just burn your fingers.

To me, it felt like I have been there whenever Murakami speaks about a place. He is involved just the way you are. This is also one of the reasons why I loved reading the book – I kept wondering, whether it is me or Murakami that is listening to the story. I have been there, because the author just took me to the place holding my hands as if it were his.

Not just the places, but even the characters seemed to present themselves to me throughout the book as though I have known them for a period longer than my life. This mostly is because of the fact that they are vividly human and imaginative at the same time. Turns out, they were as new as the book was to me when I thought about it.

The human, however, has been here in our minds for centuries enough to keep them as precious.

What I find to catch my attention very often is how the characters’ introspection feels like my own. This happens to me every time I read a book. It’s a trip inward. And, the questions I ask myself are very spontaneous yet I know I’ve been wondering all these days about them. It’s a ‘check’ to what I thought of me and the world.

Books help me find the spirit of solace, and I play with it. Be it subconsciously, I know that I am having a “better” approach to my anxiety through a book rather just my thoughts on their own. It feels like the author is telling me I’m not alone in the misery of our lives. The author gives me hope in everything. And, this book does the same when I see that one character laughs while the other mourns – right there in front of my misery.

It has stories about human touch, the mind and it’s adventures with sadness. And, how it normalizes the miseries of human lives tells me how exaggerated a few aspects of our lives have become. Not just in the contemporary world, but it has been the habit of humans for a long time to find taboo in what is normal. If you find anything and everything as “weird” just too easily, I recommend reading a Murakami book.

Please read a Murakami book. Who knows? You might just fall in love with the “weird” of our lives as if it were only normal. You know it is normal to pick your nose, it is normal to stare at a tree and it is normal to be yourself.

To sum it up, I think this is one of those books I’ll never forget having picked up and it’s pages being flipped through with excitement. It is as memorable as my first time reading a book, ever. The Secret Seven, by Enid Blyton.

But, see, Murakami is the definition for why I’d love to read books. To explore, to feel safe while I am challenged to death, to dive deeper in my worlds built up these many years of my life. And, much more. There is always much more than my thoughts to a book. It’s impossible for me to tell how the book shows up to you. It’s personal in every sense possible. So, if you have read the book, please tell me about it in the comments. I am curious to know what others think of this book.


Reading books together

Thank you for reading till the end. So, I’ve been thinking about how we (you, me and other readers) can feel like we’re in a community on the blog while reading it. To try this out, how about we do something together before our next article? It’s a call too imaginative for now, but we can begin somewhere.

We can read books together (on our own) and in the next article when I talk about the book, you can feel much more at home. So, what we’ll do it read a book and then contemplate in the coming article. Every article on books, end with the title’s name for the next article.

Our next book: The Choice by Edith Eger

The old man’s potion

He walked his dog around the colony all day long. A silver jewelry covered the half of his face. And, his lips were barely visible from this beard burying them inside of what I saw as jewelry. No one asked why this stranger was here. He too never bothered anyone. A fairly strange experience with a stranger is to never bother. But, it was peculiar to watch someone walk like that every day. Be it any age. This man never stopped walking from Krishna’s house on the first cross to my house which is where the colony ends.

On days like Saturday he’d go past our abode to the supermarket that comes three Goan buildings after the colony.

The dog never barkingly scared any kid and that’s probably why it was named Snoopy. But then again, no one ever asked the man it’s name. No one ever cared to know what this man or the dog were all about. Maybe one day this man will give me the secret potion to save me from the questions this world asks me. Questions I never willingly want to answer.

Why do you want to know? What joy does it give you? Please bring me a Snoopy.

Read

High income

I am Eric,
A loner.

Two years ago,
I bought this home.
Three months later,
It’ll be official.

There’s no furniture,
But, I hate furniture.
I always buy candle,
Feels like no future.

I want to use these candles.

The death of my bird,
Didn’t feel real until yesterday.
My brain keeps changing,
From sane to doubtful.

Doubtful to chaos.

Pills are not my choice,
Doctor can’t keep me away.
Get me a real one,
This feels unreal.

I don’t want to be alone.
I don’t want to be out there.

Get me out of here.

No one can help your writing process

If anyone had a solution to this problem, they’d be telling you their own method. Be it zoning into your desk-space or walking freely in the park to get ideas. However, there are some problems which remain common enough to be dealt with as a creator.

Let me tell you that methods are not solutions. They are just the ways you choose to do your work. The last thing a creative space would want is glorifying a common method in the face of a solution. Please, as a friend I say to fellow writers struggling with their process, don’t fall for the Internet’s loud voices. Please don’t look for solutions in the way you need to deal with writing.

Trust me, after searching these methods for nearly four years I have learnt something valuable.

There is no solution that will solve everything.

Why? Because, your problems as a creator are bound to be unique to yourself. And, so should be your ways to dealing with it. I wouldn’t know if you had problems with getting up early while my solution keeps talking about the benefits of waking up at five. It just doesn’t work even if it sounds good to have a pizza ritual every paragraph written. Exception, eating somehow feeds every known tummy and the brain. So, this ritual might work and I don’t recommend doing it alone. By the way, you wouldn’t even know if I was talking about five in the morning or the evening.

Okay, let’s not get distracted by food. But, if you’d like to – nobody’s really stopping you from having your favourite dessert. Just let me know where I can find it. Deal?

Be whatever your problems are, I am sure the solutions you thought would help just haven’t been friendly enough. Sometimes, they do awesome contributions to the writing process and other times it feels like a truck ride to the moon. We just haven’t found a way to do it.

Does this mean we stick to the ride and keep believing in it? It’s not only highly hopeful to build a bridge to the moon, it is mostly impractical. Surely we could try doing it as an experiment for fun. And, that’s all writing is about to me. It’s about having fun. Why else would I even do it?

All I want to say is, don’t let the big words on your tiny screens decide your process. Find one for yourself because there is no right one out there for everyone. But, there is a right one just for you.

And, if you’re okay with it – you’d also probably be okay without it. That is the ultimate dream, I hope. Because, guess what? You are the creator of this method and there’s no way you can’t create another one. It’s unique and at the same time even a solution to defining your problems. Talk it out and let’s keep writing safe from the tragedies of productivity!