It calm or captivating or covetable? Simply, it can’t.

It is ignited. It is born. It is created.  It ascends from the darkest, deepest, most dangerous depthsof reality. It threatens the known, bestowing refuge for the world of theundiscovered, unheard, and uncertain. Fantasy.

 Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for this delightfulopportunity to express my thoughts, regarding matters that hurt every nerve andsinew in me, when undermined. Fantasy. Fantasy liberates me, you, us, from the clutches ofreality, the ropes that bind us, restrain us, suffocate us, turning our everybreath into screams for freedom, for release… for escape.

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Fantasy presents uswith the propensity to burgeon, the proclivity to reach for the sky, and thepotential to write our destiny. It is integrated deep in the very fabric of ourentity, being the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we lavish. Fantasyis our master, the oldest, wisest, and most crucial. We need to embrace, elevate,exalt the element of fantasy in our lives. The genre of fantasy is sporadicallygranted to us in emblematic appearances of snow white paper, bespeckled withflurries of black ink, for reasons as many as stars in the galaxy. “Fantasy is silver andscarlet… obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli,” George R.

R. Martin oncesaid. I agree. And then you may ask, what about reality? Reality isthe putrescent bones of an atrocious beast. Reality is a king…stabbed in the back. Reality is another name for ‘Hell’ where hapless soulstread – poverty and disease and terrorism, impending over them like shadows. Howcan this world, afflicted, marred, blemished with scars, where even children arestarved, or shot mercilessly in the head – at times unpurified and abused – everbe calm or captivating or covetable? Simply, it can’t. And here, fantasy fillsthe lacuna! Fantasy is vital to the child enslaved in shackles, to the child longingto be educated, to the child with no arms and legs.

So at least, in theirwildest imagination, they can plummet down an unfathomable ocean, mounting asea serpent towards Atlantis; become a knight serving the prestigious court ofCamelot; or a wizard in the supernatural school of Hogwarts! Who wouldn’t wantto be friends with Harry Potter? And don’t tell me it’s the 210 million orphans,worldwide, of which 15% commit suicide by the age of 18. Thus, fantasy is imperative,however old or wise, aiding escapism when entrapped within relentlesssituations, to perpetuate our mental and emotional equilibrium. We immerse ourselvesin fantasy books to traverse an author’s realm, exempt from our responsibilities,phobias and stresses. So, whisk yourselves away. Somewhere far, far, away. “Somewhere of the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreamsthat you dare dream, really do come true.” And in those distant lands we’ll find hope.

Freedom. Escape.Just like the Jews needed to.

I see your confusion. But in fact, the song ‘SomewhereOver the Rainbow’, from ‘The Wizard of Oz’, is associated with the Holocaust;how it allows us to connect with a time shrouded by darkness, illuminating the barbarichostility the Jews faced. Similarly, the movie, ‘Life is beautiful’, displaysthe same proficiency of fantasy. For when an unprejudiced Jewish father and hisson become entrapped in a concentration camp, he weaves an alternative reality forhis son to exist in, through his imagination, obstructing the horrors of war.

Themovie enlightens us that fantasy is intrinsic to life; how due to it, we copewith and permeate reality with beauty, even in grievous times. The fantasygenre brings to light sensitive subjects, sprinkling it in minuscule quantitiesto elucidate past injustice, misdeeds and massacres, allowing many of us to value,appreciate and respect our place in life. “A whole newworld, adazzling place I never knew.

“A new fantastic point of view”. Aspectrum of emotions ameliorating you. And you are sure to wonder, “How thesepanoramas hold such utmost splendor, that its sheer intensity renders you surrendered?”Oh, the absolute euphoria and ache transfigures you, alters your perspectives,attitudes, feelings. So, let’s absorb ourselves in fantasy books, and we’llfind empathy flourishing within us, as our capacity to relate with others, augments.

Studies show being engaged in fantasy books, assists the activation of regionsin your brains liable for betterassimilation and interpretation of people, and a new outlook on life.Psychologist Raymond Mar noted considerable overlaps in the brain networks usedto comprehend stories and the ones used to guide interactions with individuals.Fantasy books urge us to metamorphose into various characters to understandtheir thoughts, feelings and motives, developing our perception. Mine. Yours.Ours. Comparably, Lisa Bu, a TED speaker, said that books had given her “amagic portal to connect with people of the past and the present.” Just like itcan provide us.

 Emotionally. Psychologically. Mentally.

Fantasy books possessa range of competence. Were you aware, that reading fantasy can reduce stressand mental decline, all while increasing your grasp on language? A 2009 studyby Sussex University revealed that reading, especially fictional elements, willdecrease nearly 68% of your stress. Above that, reading exercises your brain,lowering mental decline by 32%. More activity, especially of your left temporalcortex (a brain segment related with the apprehension of language) willheighten the potential for a wider range of vocabulary. So, read fantasy! Now! Foryou’ll never regret imagining or escaping or… reading. Believe me! “Never is anawfully long time”.

 It is ignited. It is born. It is created The capabilities of fantasy are manifold. If it can offer usescapism; diverse viewpoints; familiarity with delicate themes; healthbenefits, and overall pleasure, then why should we deny it? These reasonsmanifest the need to advocate, stimulate and espouse the genre of fantasy andthe marvels of imagination.

With fantasy, forget the 7 wonders of the world, wecan see 10, a 100, a 1000. You may be 1 in 7 billion, but surrounded by yourfantasy, you are the painter, the world your canvas. You are omniscient. Youare omnipotent.

You are omnificent. And this, is just the beginning…