imageI keep my copy of Gone with the Wind always next to me in my bedside drawer. The graceful yellow pages comfort me with their ageless familiarity and the folded corners fill me with nostalgia of my childhood. Ever since I first read the book, I have changed, my life has changed, but my affinity for the book hasn’t.

I am deeply attached to this copy of the book which I read in school as a part of the curriculum. Reading books was part of my growing years, but this one book has changed the manner in which I perceive books. Gone with the Wind has remained with me since the first time I read it, and I have revisited portions of it during different phases of my life.

What initially hooked me, I remember, was the achingly poignant love story of Scarlet and Rhett, but what has stayed with me is the endearing nature of human relations and the characters as the story unfolds, as also the realisation that more often than not, people are product of the circumstance they have lived in.

As it presented rich slivers of life for the little girl in me, I found the story soul stirring. This fascinating book offered me a glimpse into the lives of people during the American civil war of the 19th century, resurrecting them for me in the 21st century. From revering books, as I was taught, for the first time through this book, I started seeing them as friends and fellow travelers.

Human tragedy is a universal thread that weaves everybody together and therefore I feel that I have a karmic connection with this book. When in doubt, sad, or happy I like to read portions from it, and it responds like an old companion, rambling along with me to clear my head. Re-reading this book relieves me of my stress like cleaning out my dog’s ticks, refreshes me like the fragrance of the wet soil, satiates as if I’m eating my favourite chocolate, comforts like a lover’s embrace, and reassures like mother’s lullaby.

My tattered copy of Gone with the Wind embodies how I have lived every single page with the characters, rooting for them, fighting for them, and crying with them. Holding hands I have walked with each one of them as they have with me. The living memory of the characters of this book is immortal for me.

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Shrutika is an editorial intern with Open Road Review.

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