The Art of Reading
Me and Groucho don’t converge on our sentiments to the T (hell, I really like watching TV!) But I sure think reading is one of the best things a man can do if his life is to be identified as complete... As I always say, a man with a book is never lonely.
(I don’t know how I can contradict myself so openly when I say I love books and yet I call myself “lonely” princess. But that’s just me – an avid exponent of the break-the-rules-and-put-logic-to-shame family!!!)
A bookworm since times immemorial, I worship my books and am forever seeking to add new ones to my collection. My Shelfari widget on this page will give you a peek into my real bookshelf at home (yeah the same one that my mum ransacked during Diwali and dusted as if it was the asylum of all nasty vermin on earth).
I must thank my mentor on this note, the person who introduced and invited me to the magnificent world of books – Mr. Subhash Rathi, better known as Abba (thanks to my brother’s childhood lisp). If it weren’t for him, I doubt I’d have been such a paperback aficionado. Thanks, Abba! Owe you one...
When I was younger, Abba used to suggest books to me, stories that he thought I’d enjoy. As time flew and he got busier with other responsibilities and hobbies, I stuck to this pastime religiously. Now, it’s often me in the recommender’s role. And it’s such a great feeling! Almost like a guru-dakshina! He seems to share my choice of books, and he’s now glued to the Palace of Illusions (POI) that I couldn’t stop raving about when we last met.
Some of my fav reads and recommendations for you? Grab a pen!
- Prisoner of Birth by Jef Arch – a very recent bestseller, about revenge and relationships
- Godfather – THE classic of the century, made into a film in both Bollywood and Hollywood, but can a movie EVER beat or do justice to the book?
- The Omen – a mighty good movie if you can’t sit patiently through this excellent thriller
- Palace of Illusions – Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni at her best with this tale of the Mahabharata from a woman’s perspective
- The Secret Garden – one of my childhood reads, so simple yet profound and touching
Five is a good number for starters, and I could tell you more if you have the passion and perseverance. I often try to enlist people close to me in the readers’ guild. My latest success has been Mr. Sibi Venugopal (you can see him as a follower on this page, and he appears frequently in the comment section). Thanks buddy, way to go!! Keep it up!!
Back to Abba and me... The other day, I had a bet with him about the POI. I pride myself on my memory, (and that too, when it’s about the name of my favorite favorite author, there’s just no giving up!). He said the name is Chitra Lekha Banerjee Divakaruni and I kept reiterating vehemently that there’s no Lekha in her name. I’m SO sure he’s lost! Not only did I check her other books that I possess, but also her website. (I’m bemused as to how he’s still fervently arguing that he’s correct... Maybe just a bait to meet me coz we don’t get to meet too often since both of us have demanding schedules.)
So, the point is, we were at loggerheads on this issue at a family dinner, and someone happened to ask what we were talking about. When we related this, I heard a smirk. Apparently, Mr. Anand Rathi (better known on this page as my bro), found it exceedingly comical that we were disputing over a writer’s name.
(Are you waiting for my comments on his impudence and idiocy? All I can say is, he’ll never know the obsession that resides within us booklovers about the habit of reading, our books and the people connected to them – whether living or fictitious. It’s God’s wish that the power of words and irresistible pull of sentences be denied to him. And I can only pity such a mortal.)
Reading is sucha pleasure, one that I can’t wholly describe in this post that doesn’t illustrate my facial expressions and hand gestures. I can spend hours reading, engrossed in the plot and characters as if I was breathing the same air as them, feeling their emotions and experiencing their lives. I’m sure you, as dedicated readers of my blog, feel the same as you read. Be it a blog or a hardback, a short story or an epic, a comedy or a biography, whatever the language, whoever the author. Reading is our coke, our grass, our ecstasy. It is the blood in our veins and the smile on our lips. Leave us alone, and we’ll be fine in the company of a good book... The images on TV can never equal what our imagination can dream and capture...
My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter - Thomas Helm
I dread ending a book that I’ve enjoyed reading. And once the plot strikes a chord with me, I tumble into endless sessions of relishing every word and page. A hypnotic spell that often spells an early finish to most of my books. And hence, I need to ensure I keep a hold on myself as I begin a new one! Re-reading is pleasant, but it can’t give you the high that a completely mysterious, fresh climax offers.
So, if you really want to live life king/queen-size and you are fed up with the fast-food culture, then Dr. Anuja’s prescription reads : Regular and devoted reading.
You’ll see how a single person can lead several magical lives simultaneously, and how inconceivably larger than life, life actually is!!
On that note, leme tell u, I've completed around 300 pages of Mahabharata, that is around 1/3rd of the book and the major section of the Adi Parva (the first and the biggest of the 18 parvas or sections of Vyasa's epic).