I had stopped entertaining the idea of sleep long ago, plagued as I was by the relentless wanderings of my thoughts, which invariably leads to dark places.

I was looking for something to distract me from my thoughts, and started running my hands across the untidy stacks and shelves of books around my room.

A tower of unread, unfinished books, individual worlds and thoughts, threw their accusations at me. But I didn't want them this night. I love the smell of new books, the thrill of new stories...but I shied away from their crisp, hard pages. This night, they felt alien and unfamiliar, daunting and difficult.

I wanted comfort. Familiarity. The soft touch and patient warmth of old friends; long unlooked for but not forgotten. And so I drew from my shelf that old book Heidi gave to me, so long ago, in a world I do not miss.

Shantaram is a beautiful book, and I was lost for a little while in its sensuous descriptions, detailed characters and living emotions. I loved every word, paragraph and page. But that didn't last.

I was reminded why I've been keeping away from books. They take me to places I long for, introduce me to people that I feel like I've known for years. But like any good high, it doesn't last for long. I want more. I'm not content to be a visitor. In the book lies quietly what every addict wants, needs: escape, from this world into a better one.

The unpleasant reality that I am nowhere near living that life bumps into me. It's not so bad with a fantasy book, or sci-fi. But with a novel like Shantaram? You know that these experiences, these lives, could have been yours, if only you had the daring and the courage to step out alone into a brave new life. The book's realism that enthrals me is the same realism that mocks me.

I am reminded that there is a bigger life that calls out to me, but for now I'm too timid and too frightened to answer.

I didn't even make it past the first paragraph.

hey Lyra dear, 
You are one of the most special guys/people I've ever met & whom I treasure.
Hope this is a good read, and gives you endless brilliant ideas and yearnings to do something. Or at least trigger that chain reaction :)
Looking forward to sharing the rest of your life, each step of the way. (I'm just self-inviting into you life.)
 - page inscription