Happy Birthday, Mr. Zweig!

I am so glad to have met you this year. Through your stupendously masterful Chess Story, you got into my book world like a summer rain; unexpected but alluring. Discovering multiple angles of psychological reflections in a slim novella of 80 pages was like hitting a jackpot; that sudden halt one comes to during a leisure walk at the sight of a sparkling diamond. The multiple facets of its work bore also a resemblance to your upbringing and the belligerent environment you spent most of your life in.

There is something so serene and beautiful in your writing that I find all my senses inadvertently active, most of the time; they work quietly to create a cognitive lattice within which I discover known and unknown fabrics of human emotions, touching each of them to feel their texture and holding many of them, close to my heart. The Journey Into Past was one such candid, revealing voyage into your mind that sent an acute ache within me, rippling with means to find solace. Your treatment of the less-appealing emotions of despair, agony and loss reinforces your perspective; that of heightened consciousness towards the ups and lows of life in equal ardor.

Oh, your fixation with an abode to set your stories in, tells me that you were hardly ever happy in one place. You were a vagabond; a person on a quest of intellect and wisdom. I think you changed dwellings not always because the external circumstances were hostile; you changed them mostly when the internal circumstances became unbearable. I wish you had not committed suicide; is there any merit in a death like that ? Or perhaps there is. Allowing one’s own hands to put a full stop to one’s own story requires immense amount of courage. Yes, I would like to believe you did not leave the bastion of strength during your last days of life; instead you braced yourself for another journey, in another world.

Well then, in the world that you are, may nostalgia dance and separation supplement. And may you find some way again to come back into the one I am in. After all, what better way to live a life than being Stefan Zweig once again?


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