There is an abundance of stories in this world. Some stories are written well, while others aren’t. We can relate to some, while other stories don’t speak to us. Some stories bring us to tears, others don’t affect our emotions. In this collection of stories, some are written, some are said, some are filmed, some are lived and others are forgotten.

In our life, we don’t get time to do everything we want to do. Our dreams are too big and our lives too short. Yet, we can live at least a part of our dreams and we can live our dreams through the stories of other people.

Reading is a habit that is promoted and encouraged. Reading is seen as better than films or video games. While we can’t question what’s better, by reading, one learns a great many stories. You can learn about people, cultures, animals, gods and even hobbits in books. Books are full of magic and once you feel the magic you will never want to stop reading.

However, books aren’t the only place where you can find magic. There are so many other ways that stories can be told and shared. Take art, for instance. It’s amazing how what seems like a simple painting can be interpreted in so many ways, and can tell different stories to different people. What looks like a vase to you, looks like two faces to another. Looking at art for hours may seem like grownup business. It may seem boring and tiring.

However, paintings too contain a lot of magic, especially when looked closely. Between brushstroke and color, along outline and frame, there are stories that will reach you if you pay enough attention.

Maybe art doesn’t interest you, but surely, films do. Films, whether they are long or short, silent or not, are great ways to use different elements or features to tell a story. The plot of a film could be nice but it might seem less interesting if the acting is bad or the music isn’t to your liking. There are films that disappoint but there are a great many that will not only entertain you but will also leave you with stories and lessons to think about.

There are many games you can play. There are ‘in real life’ games like playing house or ‘sellang gedara’ and cricket and there are video games like Super Mario Bros or Sonic. There are sports games and role playing games. There are games that involve calculation and those that test how quickly you can react to a situation. Take Tetris as an example. The game starts slow and you have time to rotate the colorful four-square blocks so they fit the rest. As the speed of the game increases, you need to think faster too. If you take too long to decide, where and how to place a piece, you will lose the game. Tetris also teaches you that it takes different shapes to make a complete line of squares and that making a few mistakes doesn’t necessarily mean everything is ruined. If you are quick and smart enough, you can salvage a game. Tetris and other games too, are magical like books and films.

Let’s look at a hobby now. If you collect stamps or coins, you will have a story attached to most of them. There may be long ago stories that involve particular coins or stamps and there can be a great many stories about the people or places featured in the coin or stamp. You may also have stories about your collection.

Do you now see why it’s important to have hobbies and other interests? Stories complete our lives and the magical power of stories can take us on many journeys. You can travel in buses, trains or planes but isn’t a magic carpet a better and more amazing mode of transportation? Have interests and hobbies, have a yearning for stories and then you’ll have a magic carpet of your own and with it, you can travel around the world and across time.

Shailendree W Adittiya