Books, one of the most important invention of mankind. Without books life would be different in a subtle way. all men would be critiques and cynical because learning only from the world around them would make them so. Books give us opportunity to unshackle our spirits from the worldly sufferings and pleasures, they cast our minds from the ordinary into the extraordinary, from believable into the unbelievable, from mundane into the fantasy, from a world of boundaries into the infinite never ending world of creation and imagination.
The Neverending Story is one such book that will give you wings to fly, tragedies to cry, pleasures to smile and principles to stand by. This book by Michael Ande is truly a never ending story because in the latter part of the story the reader itself becomes a part of the story and it is up to them and their imagination to carry forward the amazing story. This epic work of imagination has captured the hearts of millions of readers since a decade ago,when it was first published and continues to do so even today.
The story begins with a lonely little boy whose mother passed away recently. His father being a realist was always busy with his work and had little time for his son. Bastian, the little boy who was a bibliophile was always immersed in his fantasy world. One day while running away from a bunch of bullies he enters an old book shop where he chances upon this book titled, ‘The Neverending Story’, as a child’s mind would be, he was immediately interested and curious about it. After borrowing the book from its owner, Bastian embarks on the most adventurous and fantastic journey of his life. Though only a story in an old bound book, The Neverending Story was much more than that for him, it became Bastian’s escape from the real world, a refuge for his troubled mind, a destination where he wanted to be forever.
The journey takes him to Fantasia, a world build on fantasies of children. The special thing about Fantasia being, it could be whatever you wanted it to be, more or less like our own real world. Fantasia was a world of beautiful landscapes, enchanting scenery, exquisite species of birds and animals and wonderful imagination. As Bastian reads on Fantasia is troubled by a mounting danger which the creatures call as ‘The Nothing’, this danger is a result of the dying love of books among the children of the human world. Since Fantasia was a world built on their imagination, and while the new genration became more and more tech and gadget freak, they grew their distance from books and Fantasia slowly moved towards its doom and stood on the threshold of being engulfed by ‘The Nothing’. As The Nothing grows out of nowhere, the princess of Fantasia falls ill. The wizard declares that a boy called Attreyu must save their world by traversing across the boundaries of Fantasia and bring a human child in to their world. Fantasia can only be save by giving its child like princess a new name. Attreyu begins his journey and crosses great hurdles to find a human child which turns out ot be ‘you’ or the reader.
It is remarkable how the author appeals and incorporated the reader into this story. He sends us a message that we all must not stop dreaming, must not drift away from the world of Fantasia, must not stop reading books. Fantasia will be what you make of it with your imagination. So imagine well, be creative, dream big.
Readers, too, can travel to the wonderous, unforgettable land of Fantasia if they will just turn the page…