Today is the 6th of November 2008.
A Thursday. The 4th day of the week. And the day I found out Michael Crichton died of cancer at the age of 66.
Mr. Crichton was not considered as a literacy giant by many in spite of his best selling works and in these times of fast pace not everyone thinks about the person who conceptualized dinosaurs walking in our present times or how an alien virus wipes out an entire community. From taking up air industry in 'Airframe' to dealing with global warming in 'State of Fear' all of his novels dealt with technology going awry and resulting in worst case scenarios.
But I feel the lost of this man not because now I will be deprived of his great techno thrillers or the world has lost the maker of 'ER', my loss runs deeper than that.
A strong believer of 'Indirect Reasons', Whatever I can flaunt in Intelligentsia is all due to my reading habits. All the useless piece of information cluttered in my brain or whatever knowledge I can present to this world to make my Mom and Dad proud of me is all due to this one good habit I picked up along the way in this course of life,I read.
And I'm indebted to this man for it.
I was 9 years old when out of sheer boredom I picked up 'Sphere' and discovered the world where imagination runs wilder then wild and ideas are presented in the most thought provoking manner. I finished it and fell in love with books (an affair which is still getting stronger and stronger with time) although with hindsight I can safely say it was not his best of work yet I still remember the excitement when I read the turning point of the novel,Jerry is Harry (incidentally a film was made on this starring Michael Douglas, Samuel L Jackson and Sharon Stone). I immediately started on the widely known 'The Lost World' and with that to the delight of my mother and my Nani(maternal grandmother) I got enlisted in there gang of Novel Readers.
With time I rose up in the ranks, I moved on to Jeffery Archer, discovered Clive Cussler, read and became a die hard fan of Alistair MacLean, laughed my worries away in the world of P.G Wodehouse, like all readers of my generations got excited about Harry Potter saga courtesy Mrs. J.K Rowling and found out the Indian wine of Munshi Premchand & Khushwant Singh. Arthur Hailey, Albert Camus, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Paulo Coelho, John Grisham,H Hawksey, David Baldacci, H.G Wells, Fredreick Forsyth, Robert Ludlum the list of my affairs in matters of books goes on and on because of these masters who presented yours truly with things filled with such excitement, whom I can love again and again and every time with a new zeal. But every time when I have to tell someone my favourite author,the name of Michael Crichton springs to my mind. He is like the first love whom everyone says you can't ever forget.
It is not the fast paced action or the adrenaline pumping scenarios nor is the intricate details of Industries, Machines, Processes which made him different from others but it was his theories,his ideas, his views which he presented in his works like on Chaos Theory,making it the backbone of all 'Ian Malcom conversations' in 'Jurassic Park' or the way he presented the idea of global warming and climate change in 'State of Fear' or ethics of genetics in 'Next'. His views and ideas were considered as controversial but to me they gave the much needed food for my mind, presented me with a new way to think about the world and make up my own viewpoint.
I never wrote a fan mail to the guy and never knew about his life or read his biography for that matter, but to me he was more than just a name on the cover of a book, for me he was the guy who showed me the path and actually made me what I'm today.
To you Mr. Crichton from one of the many fans you have around the world.
Goodbye and Thank you.