Saturday, August 19, 2006

Books, books and more books.


First of all, I must thank Hip Grandma for this lovely tag. I have always had this great fascination for all books, to learn of the stories of fantasy, the thrill of crime, or mystery, the passion of romance and what not.

Now if you think I am studious, you cant be more wrong there, because it takes just one page of reading a book for the sake of studying that can take me to the deepest of slumbers. But reading for the sake of reading has always been a great pastime.

.

There are lots of books that instantly come to my mind, but i`ve been given a tag here, so let me just confine myself to it.

One Book that changed your life.


I believe, my life hasn`t really changed much, since the time I started reading books. But of course we all do come across books from which we learn big lessons, lessons for our life, and so I too have learnt a number of lessons as a child which I believe has shaped my life, my thoughts and my ideas and ideals. That book for me is the Chandamama. Chandamama is not just one book, it is a monthly edition, which i brought home with care and joy, with all the excitement a child can gather, with great dreams of all the stories i would read. As fate would have it the stories were never mere stories, it was a real children`s magazine which had values as well as thought provoking figments of imagination which often taught me to look at life in a different manner. The stories of Vikram and Betal, the simple stories of a tailor, physician or saint. They never failed to inspire, they never failed to teach.

One book that you have read more than once.


Now there are a plenty of books, which I have read more than once. At times due to the mere interest, at times to try and make more meaning out of it. But there remains this one saga of a book, which keeps getting back at me somehow. The brilliant stories, a princess tells every night to her husband and king, so that she may save her own life. Each story having characters, who tell another character another new story until you are totally lost in a world of fantasy and genies. If, today I do not have any reason or desire to go to Arabia, it is because i have this been-there-seen-it-all feeling in me. I have conquered Arabia in reading 1001 Arabian Nights.

One book you would want on a desert island.

On a desert island, apart from good food, a nice thatched hut, a good amount of firewood, clothes and shoes, I would want a truck load of books. Books which can actually make me feel that i am not alone, books that make me forget the solitude. But apart from that I would also like to read a big book in Malayalam, which I have been trying to sit down and complete, but have not really been able to do, so far. I would love to have there Aithhyamala a great treasury of stories and legends from Kerala, written by Kottarathil Sankunni, a great scholar and poet. I would say, what the previous book did for Arabia is done by this book for the small state of Kerala.

One book that made you laugh.

There are a number of books, both joke books as well as normal books and novels which have had the ability to bring up a smile on my lips, some books which tickled my nerves of mirth so much that I had to burst out laughing. But in bringing across that subtle humour about life, and which talked about the suffering of people in his own way with a satirical outlook, I respect Munshi Premchand for his books. They have never failed to make us laugh and at the same time think as well. The Hindi Language owes a lot to Premchand.

I must also mention here The Rainmaker, by John Grisham, another one of my favourite authors. It never fails to evoke laughter in me.

One book that made you cry.

This credit goes to two of the greatest books i have read. Books which introduced to me some of the greatest life-inspired characters, who I devoutly followed. Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens is one of them. The struggle, a young boy faces in his life cannot be picturised more splendidly. When young oliver asks for more porridge, I myself felt the hunger and angst. I had no shame in crying when i read the book.
The other, is "Mayor of Casterbridge", by Thomas Hardy which is definitely not one of his greater works. This book was in our curriculum at school. I never really appreciated it then, but as a young man, when I read it later. I could actually sympathize with the flawed lead character, with so much more of passion. I could not fight back a tear or two. I guess these books need no introduction. Not to forget King Lear by the great William Shakespeare.

One book you wish had been written.

An autobiography by William Wordsworth. If i have even lazily strolled, on the beach looking at the ocean of poetry, it is because of this great man, whose love for nature and it`s beauty inspired millions. I would have loved to read a verion of his life written by himself, so that I could have witnessed poetic outbursts in every sphere of his life. Perhaps I yearn for too much. But a wish is a wish. There, i rest my case.

One book you wish had never been written.

I have not come across any such book which I felt should not have been written, or perhaps my idea of a good book, never allowed me to come across one. And above that, any author puts in a lot of hard work and struggle and energy to write a book. Who am i, to judge, after all, I am just a reader.

One book you are currently reading.

I just finished reading a mammoth "Autobiography of an unknown Indian", by Nirad Chaudhuri and am taking rest before I jump onto another journey, in another book. A book is after all not just a routine or a pastime alone. It is an experience. It is a mental exercise, without rest, something which you may not relish.

One book you have been meaning to read.

Now that, is a list. A wishlist. I would like to read Shantaram, by Gregory Roberts. I would like to read more books by the great Rabindranath Tagore. I would love to read "To Kill a mocking bird", by Harper Lee, as you recommended Hip Grandma, and also many more as I come across.

Thanks for tagging me. I tag... I tag all the book lovers among you blog pals... Do take up this tag if we share love for books.


55 comments:

Astral said...

Hi, nice tag a very bookie one! You have written it well. Take care and GOD bless.

Jigs said...

I would love to do this tag but I unfortunately havent been able to read any good book for months now! :(

Deepak said...

Hey I'm taking up this tag. ;)

Watch out for it in a couple of days

Marutham said...

Oh...WOW!! Lovely TAG .... Infact- the TAG is for the RIGHT person!!! Nice POST too...:) Great analysis... /Who am i, to judge, after all, I am just a reader.
/ Well, there r many people who go judging when they are even not asked to-- How humble u r! :) Very nice of u! :)

Okiee... :D Last,BNTL- U have been tagged :) post urs soon

SCRIBBLEZ TO WAKEUP said...

Munshi and all...You are hi funda at one end and on the other you like Chandamama...Its so cute to know that you know..I remember when we were younger we never got Chandama but got Twinkle and Archies! We were bad girls but we loved TWINKLE! :)

Srijith Unni said...

@Astral : Hi!, thanks a lot..! Yeah, like you said a very bookie one. Thanks for your wishes..!

@Jigs : Oh.. no problem do catch up and do it later if you are interested.. Thanks for the comment, buddy.!

@Deepak : Shall sure do.. I wouldn`t miss that...

@Marutham : Thanks a lot, marutham. Yeah I read your tag long back.. Shall do it soon..

@Scribblez : Yeah Twinkle is a favourite for me too.. but still preferred chandamama better. :)

Kakshi said...

It was an interesting read...now atleast i hv a good list of books which i need to pick up to read...[:)]Also which all books of Munshi Premchand have you read..i was reading 'Godaan' the hindi was very heavy for me..my parents had a tough time handling me..coz i kept on pesterin them for the various difficult words i came across..i really like his writin..they way he makes you think of a person's state of mind...he is a genius..i dont hv words to explain..

Sreejith Kumar said...

Some nice books there.... I wish to take this tag. If so, it would be my 1st tag (yes!!!!) and 100th blog entry.... :-)

Hip Grandma said...

Nice tag srijith.I also have The Rainmaker by Grisham back home.i never got to read it.It must be good if you say so.I'll take it up when I get back.

Gaurav Jain said...

I share some of the books that you have mentioned, including Oliver Twist. And, as "Hip Grandma" has suggested to you, I too would recommend "To kill a mockingbird" to you.

In my childhood I used to read champak and all the comic strips like Chaha Chaudhuri, Raman, Pinki, Akbar Birbal, etc... and it used to be awesome!!!!

I'll also take up this tag soon....!!

chitra said...

That was well written. You made me remember Chandamama days. we used to read the Tamil version too ambulimama and Vikram Baithal was one of my fav. stories.

Srijith Unni said...

@Kakshi(Shwetha) : I do not remember specifically, the names or publications, but remember the stories well.. yes, the Hindi is a bit heavy, but they never fail to entertain. I remember I had a collection of works of different authors in a book called Chuney huey Phool works of Premchand, Pant, Mahashwetha Devi and so on..

@Sreejith : A wonderful job you`ve done with the tag.. Nice work Sreejith.. I`m happy that your 100th post, links to my blog.. That`s an honour.!

@Hip Grandma : Yes it may not be a very awesome work by grisham but, it is definitely one of his more humorous works.. and it has it`s moments.. A great evening read.

@Gaurav Jain: Hi Gaurav, yeah i`ll surely try to get my hands on that one. and you`re right about champak.. that was also an interesting comic book. Nice to know that you`re taking up the tag.. The Pleasure`s mine.

@Chithra : Yes, I know they have versions in all languages.. and that`s great.! Mine too Vikram Betal always had a good story in it..

Thanks for your comments, my friends.

Ash said...

Shantaram. This is one book which i wanna read..the desire has been on for a loooooooooong time.

ash:)

passerby55 said...

Srijith, as i have guessed(rightly) your are a man of nature with classy taste for classics ...

the picture along with the buks tag are hard binded(books) with a classy touch .... just proves my guess again.

Thomas hardy and Charles dickens...you cry easily but well meaned TEARS.

Velu Nair said...

Thats an exhaustive list, Sree! And quite an impressive one at that! I do notice, that most of the books in ur selection have an absolutely serious and sober tone attached to them. IS it just a coincidence??

Do u read plain silly and funny books too? The Inscrutable Americans, for instance?

:)

Has to be me said...

U sure seem a voracious reader. Good one.

starry nights said...

You have read a nice list of books, some of which I have to add to my list.thanks for sharing.

priya said...

Nice tag!!! You are read good colelctions.

How is beta blogger??
BTW: I thought my sidebar is the only one, but yours too.

Srijith Unni said...

@Ash : Hello Ash.. Welcome to my blog.. so nice to have a new visitor.
Yeah Shantaram is a must read, though a bit costly.. i`ve been saving to get the book..

@Passerby55 : I was actually waiting for your comment. You do a great job of trying to find out about me from the tags.. I must say i`m inspired.

@Velu : Yeah of course I do read funny and silly ones too. Though haven`t read Inscrutable Americans.. Shall have to get my hands on that next time.. Well still the serious and sober ones seem to stay in mind.. :)

@Has to be me : Thanks a lot!, your appreciation is very much sought after..

@Starry Nights : Nice to know that.. I hope you too do this tag once, so that we may share...

@Priya : Thanks..! and about beta blogger..not bad, though some things are not totally necessary as well.. What about the sidebar..? I dont see any difference actually..

Balaji said...

Impressive book collection. I loved reading Aithhyamala. I have never read it fully. But I have a certain collection of stories that I absolutely love. I really have to thank my father for buying this book and keeping it in our house.

Chandamama, Phanton, Balarama, Poombatta, Tinkle, Mandrake, Flash Gorden, Superman...I used to read all these when I was a kid..I love them even now. :-)

alex said...

"A book is after all not just a routine or a pastime alone. It is an experience. It is a mental exercise, without rest, something which you may not relish."

I coulndt agree with you more on this aspect of reading. Books transport us to another world, which we otherwise woul not have seen.

Srijith Unni said...

@Balaji: Sorry for the late reply, buddy. Thanks a lot for your comment and Welcome, in here..! Yes Aithihyamala is a real treasure.. Lots of stories and legends to read about.. Great to know that you share the other books as well. Do come hopping in often.

@Alex : Hello there.! Welcome in here. Nice to know that you share my opinion. Books do magically transport us to another world and that is such a blessing.!

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Smita said...

hi!
was reading thro ur books tag and found something related to munshiji..i did not find anything to laugh out loud in munshiji's books...i did not know the sufferrings and the social mileu et al described in his books could make you laugh out loud..his are thought inspiring, emotional stories..not a pranksters ramblings..i was very hurt to read your comment on them

Srijith Unni said...

@Smita : Hi! Thanks for visiting and reading. At the outset, let me tell you I deeply respect Munshi Premchand and his great literary skills. Secondly, I do not laugh at suffering, or deprived social conditions. and thirdly you are wrong if you say that there is nothing to laugh about in Munshiji`s stories. I only talked about subtle humour, not laughing out loud. Even in the gravest of stories, Munshiji has always interspersed it with humour and he inspires to look at life in a lighter way. If you did not grasp, these inner strands of thought, while reading them, then I must say, you must read them again, Life is not to be spent crying alone. Even in the harshest of circumstances one smile can do good.

Smita said...

Hi!
I know of the subtle thread of humor in munshiji's writings!! i grew up with his stories..what i commented on was about ur "laughing loud" not about being amused by his subtle satires

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