Strange thing, prejudice. No matter how much you fight it, how much you deny it, you can’t really prevent it. You tell yourself you’re not prejudiced, that you’re the last person who’d have a biased opinion about anything, but the truth is that we’re all humans. And we can’t help being opinionated. It’s second nature to us.
Take my ridiculous prejudice against Sidney Sheldon, for example. I mean, what do I really know about the guy? He’s an author, well-known and loved by millions across the globe. And I don’t like him. More precisely, I don’t like his books.
Why, exactly?? Well…I honestly don’t know.
My friends were ‘into’ Sheldon books long before I knew he even existed. When I came to know about him, I mistook him for a woman. (I mean, what sort of guy calls himself ‘Sidney’ anyway??) Inspite of my friends’ open love for his work (and I trust my friends on their taste for books), I felt a strange reluctance to read his books. I have no idea why.
I never touched a book of his. Until one day, on the train. I was traveling alone for a dentist appointment, and was feeling extremely bored. This girl sitting across from me had just finished reading a book and I guess the boredom must’ve shown on my face, cuz she gave me the book and said, “Go ahead. Read it.”
And in my desperation for something to do, I did. Sidney Sheldon. Rage of Angels. I never finished the book. I never tried to.
A few days ago, I picked up the courage to read another one of his books, on the repeated insistence of another friend. Sands of Time. I did finish it this time, but I wasn’t awed. I wasn’t surprised either. It was what I’d expected.
And now, I believe my prejudice will prevent me from ever enjoying any of Sheldon’s books, even if it is an exquisite piece of work. Mr. Sheldon, I’m sorry. But prejudice is a strange thing.
I should know.