Yea, yesterday I was cleaning my bookshelf and suddenly it stuck me that I do have so many, both English and Malayalam. Old classics, poetry, plays, short stories, novelles... Dejavu once more. Those days when I used to do nothing but read read and read shutting out the world. I was really happy in my own world. Such a self-centred one.
Friends and cousins used to tease me a lot. They used to try simply everything to prise my head out of books. Oh those guilt trips were hilarious.
‘You can have your books any time, but we wont be around always’
‘If you do this to me I will never come here again’
Not to mention mummy’s perpetual ‘Baaabyyyy…’ banging off the walls every 5 minutes.
* TV was almost absent in the first 14 years of my life. It was just there in the house
As I was dusting my Blytons, Nancy Drews, Agatha Christies, Holmes and numerous classics, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge pensive.
Little Women – I must have read it around a 100 times. But Little Men was not as good.
White Nights – Oh how romantic! (though I didn’t understand much at the time)
Three Men in a Boat – Mummy declared me abnormal when I roared with laughter thinking about it. (All time fav)
Wizard of Oz - Mmuah!
O Henry and Maugham Short Stories – Inspiring
Chekov Stories – Deliciously sad
Rapunzel – Used to dream of prince on horseback coming to save me (from what)
Highway Man – Riding Riding Riding
William School Stories – If I have a kid like William… (LOL)
R K Narayan’s – Just India.
Vaikom Muhammad Basheer - Ahhh... Hes the God!!!
*My Sis keeps a notebook with summaries of all the books she has read. Wish I did something like that now. Sigh!!!
Books sometimes cause partial MPD. The best thing is that my friend who read also told me the same thing. How can I so easily lose my ‘self’ like that? Trust me, this is the best form of escapism!
My tastes in books may have changed, but not the partial MPD. Shakespeare, Shaw, Jane Austen, Pamuk, Tolstoy, and lots of such big names replaced Blyton, Goosebumps and the rest. Pamuk is real close to heart. I still feel for the character of his dead body even now when I read ‘My Name is Red’ for the umpteenth time.
I remember Ayn Rand books made me exceptionally cynical for a few days though I am not over the top about her Fountainhead like my other friends. After reading 100 years of Solitude I could barely face people. Kite Runner made me cry for days (the part where Sohrab says that he feels dirty). Thousand Splendid Suns made me yell with fury at the plight of women in certain part of the world. I was in a semi-depression after reading Passport. Same goes with Godaan and Color Purple.
Quite the Jekyll and Hyde!
But this is nothing. My friend Nithya after reading the book ‘Blindness’, she actually felt that the whole world has gone blind. And she asked her mother, ‘Ammeh, can you see me?’
Oh no! 3 of my books are missing. Pickwick Papers, Rape of Lock and White Castle! This means murder!!! How could Mummy let this happen? I should put a lock to my shelf!
But again, what do I do with those books? Give them to my kids? What if they don’t like reading? I want my books to be used well.
I think I will bequeath collection to Kunjoos after my death. He loves books though he is more into comics and detective types (I was too, at his age). I am sure he will take care of them all.