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Book memories

Reading this reminded me of this and so many book memories came flooding in my mind :)

The earliest one is when I was in the third standard. My father had promised to buy me a set of 30 books of Tarzan (in Marathi) if I stood first in class. As it happened I stood third, but he bought it any way :)

Even when I was in the fourth standard, I had a fair-sized collection of books. So much so that I cleared up a cupboard, neatly arranged all my books in it, numbered them, made a register where I kept a record of all my books. In fact, I even ran a library in my colony for a couple of months. I used to charge 10 paise per book and it had to be returned within three days. The library did quite well and I did myself proud by earning my pocket-money.

When I read The Malory Towers by Enid Blyton, I used to really, genuinely, feel bad that we weren’t living in the UK, because if we were, I could have made sure that my parents sent me to it. In fact, for a few months after reading Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree, I used to look up every tree to see how far the branches reached and whether I would be able to reach the Farway Land if I climbed it. I used to spend hours staring into space imagining myself in some magical faraway land or other !

My father, brother and I love the Asterix series, especially for the way the characters are named and the brilliant illustrations. I also loved Archies comics and my father would also read all the Archies comics I brought from the library. All my school and college notebooks had characters from Archies drawn on the last pages. In fact, even today, on my white-board in office, I have drawn Miss Grundy, Betty, Archie and Veronica :)

Somebody very close to me had gifted me Raavi Paar by Gulzar. That somebody had also written a beautiful inscription on the first page. I loved the book. Later, another somebody borrowed it and never returned it. Initially when I remembered who it was, I used to remind that somebody to return it, and they said they would but they never did. Much later I forgot who I had lent the book to. So now it’s lost forever. My name is on the book and the giver’s as well. They could give to either of us ! Whosoever has it is careless and irresponsible ! Actually the book is easily available in all bookstores. But I shall never buy it. I want that copy, with that inscription.

I have always loved mystery books. To me they are like a crossword or sudoku. As I read through, I keep making my own observations and draw inferences and try to solve the crime myself. I used to wish sometimes that Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot was a real human being so that I could meet him.

A friend of mine had been recommending The Alchemist for quite a long time…maybe a year…and I kept committing to buy it, but somehow it never happened. Then on one of my birthdays, my brother gifted it to me. Yet, for a long time it was unread. Not that I didn’t want to. In fact, I’d kept it by my bedside so that I would read it every night. But, no, it never happened. Then one Sunday, at about 11 in the morning, I suddenly had the urge to read it and then I didn’t stop till I came to a certain point in Santiago’s journey and then suddenly, I simply put it down. For the next few weeks, I tried to resume, but couldn’t. Then just as suddenly as the first time, one morning, of a working day, a weekday, I just had to read it and then I put it down only after I finished it, going late to office that day ! Many say that this book changed their life. I must admit, it did change mine too, in the way that it changed my perspective of looking at things, about conviction in the choices I make.

I must have read Pride and Prejudice countless times. Long time ago there was a Hindi serial on TV, called ‘Trishna’, based on this book. I used to like and hate it at the same time ! They had portrayed some events and characters quite well and so I liked it and some were so contrary to what I had imagined on reading the book that I used to hate the serial makers for spoiling it. Pride and Prejudice is my ‘feel good’ book. I enjoy it and get a very positive feeling each time I read it. It is one my all-time favourites.

Finally, the second of my all-time favourites is The Little Prince. I’ve read it in English. I’ve read it in French. I’ve read it in school, college, later, much later, recently and each time I find newer meanings in it. I haven’t seen a more layered and universal and yet, at the same time, so straightforward a book.

Books…making memories in my heart...and the love-affair continues :) 


Seema Smile said…
I loved this post :)
I am now going to go read a book :)

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