Last night, I stood at a crowded bar sipping on a drink of old monk mixed with hot water and staring into a void. To others, it seemed like I was just lost and looking a bit dazed, but in my head I was travelling into the world of Murakami, into his books and the jazz bars of Japan. In one instant everything began to fade, all I saw was the random design of the wall paper, the people the noise; nothing mattered. I was miles away in a fictional world, created by this author in many of his books. It is a common trope in the stories of Murakami, that the protagonists are sitting at a bar alone and sipping on their poison of choice, the ambience is always dull and dim and it is the background music is some jazz or ambient music. In that moment at the bar, I was a protagonist in any of his stories, I looked at lamp that seemed to be the window into this other world.
This is one of the reasons why I love reading and books, because they permeate into your consciousness and alter your reality, when you least expect it. They enrich your reality and give you an alternate world to live and inhabit; the door to that world, lies in the book and the recesses of our mind.
I’m a big fan of Murakami and his writings because of the mood he creates, the setting that seeks you in and guides you into the world of the character and then takes you on a ride in your own mind, he breaks boundaries, introduces the concept of parallel universes and alternate realities. If I were to believe that, then for a little time on a random Friday evening at a bar in Mumbai, I was also at a bar in Japan listening to some music and staring at a random wallpaper.