Reading between the lines

Reading between the lines

Representative image. Credit: Pixabay Photo

“I drew an extra line of Kajal today, in the hope that I will meet you. I miss you so much, that it hurts,” these were the lines in a poetry which I wrote and shared with a select group of friends on WhatsApp. A slurry of comments followed: “Oh wonderful. But who is it that you wrote it for?”

I wrote an article titled She, an acid tongue, bothered me no end and immediately, there were a lot of comments and inbox messages asking who I was referring to: “Is something happening that we are not aware of?” and “you’re always welcome to share your pain with me. I’m there to lend you a shoulder anytime you need”.

Every time I write something, people try to read between the lines. They say: “Who is she referring to?", "who is that 'he' in her poems?”, "who is being referred to in her stories?”, "a human interest story?", "a Story involving marital conflicts?", "an article about how to deal with workplace relationships," and "oh, something is cooking in her life, for sure."

These are generally the thoughts which come to people’s mind when they read something. Folks try to read the author’s mind; and more. No one thinks of a story by itself. Everyone tries to associate the plot with something or someone. "Am sure it’s something which could possibly have occurred in the authors life. Is he or she trying to hide something? Let’s uncover it fast. Try to read between lines. Let us try to make it difficult." For those who are writing, just write. 

I recently wrote about how men flaunt their relationships and second marriages without giving a thought on what the society thinks. It also asked if women, on the other hand, could do the same. The article came about after I attended a book reading session where the author started off the session by saying: “As you all know. I have 2 wives”. Many people misunderstood what I meant. They thought I meant women also should be allowed to have multiple marriages and relationships and if I lamented the fact that they were not permitted to do so. People tried to draw parallels with some mythological figures who had multiple husbands. Some asked me if I knew that many women have multiple relationships, especially in the modern era. Very few understood what I was talking about. 

Why can’t we just read, rather than trying to read between the lines. Trying to make sense of things that are which aren’t there. Trying to relate everything personally to the author or take it personally, if one knows the author. Doesn’t maturity also involve reading without judgment, empathising, without knowing about who it was written about. Let authors talk about what they feel, without worrying about who thought what, how and about whom.