I have a very vivid childhood memory, when during summer vacations we used to visit our grandparents house. With all the family members together, it was one of the best times of my life.
One of things that I really miss is switching off the lights and watching horror movies with my cousins, tucked in bed. The fun of scaring each other in the middle of the movie by imitating like ghosts or rolling ourselves in the blankets, thinking that no ghost would come inside it. Although it was fun, a part of me was still scared by this concept of ghosts. As a child you see things in a different way. And just like any child, a ghost for me was something intangible and to be scared of.
Years passed and I outgrew these things. But last year, I was reading Asleep by Banana Yoshimoto.(My first Yoshimoto’s book). Supernatural things never intrigued me so much, but reading this genre of magical realism, it totally changed my perspective. I loved her book so much that I ended up reading four more books by her. Although the stories were different, her writing and themes of death, dreams and loneliness were common. But the best part was that I was never bored of her writing. It worked as a pacifier to me.
Sometimes I felt like she was talking to my younger self through her books. She changed my definition of ghosts. She told me, ghosts are not scary, they also long for things. In each of her book, characters used to see the ghost of their dead loved ones in their dreams. They used to speak the things they had always wanted to tell their dear ones, who are now no more. And even if, all this used to happen in a dream, this gave me an odd sense of hope. If this is what you call seeing a ghost, I would love to do it as well.
Today’s illustration is a tribute to Banana Yoshimoto, one of my favourite writers.
“It occurred to me that if I were a ghost, this ambiance was what I’d miss most: the ordinary, day-to-day bustle of the living. Ghosts long, I’m sure, for the stupidest, most unremarkable things.”
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