As promised in my previous post, I am all set to write my first Book review. But the problem is I haven’t even completed half of the book. I am stuck at page number 19 since two days. It’s become nothing less than an ordeal in itself.
Why is this happening to me, considering reading was the second innate thing for me, after breathing, until few year ago. Which is the last book I read and when? I think the last book I read was some biography on Richard Branson called-lose your virginity, or something like that, which I don’t remember. I finished the book in a day, owing to it being as juicy as a Jackie Collins Novel.That was almost 3 months ago.
There was a time when I couldn’t breathe without books. Public libraries and pavements selling pirated books were my hotspots. That was before I was addicted to Internet. Internet has changed everything for me. But it has not changed my fondness for shopping for books. I still like to hold a book in my hand and appreciate a well printedoutbook, if not for anything least for its aesthetic appeal.
The main reason why I write this is a sense of inferiority complex that has stemmed after reading several blog profiles. I have come across profiles by bloggers who are as little as 16 or 18 and their favorite books include such classics as ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE, LIFE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA, WUTHERING HEIGHTS, The FOUNTAINHEAD etc. To be honest I bought ONE HUNDRED…. Soon after I started working, that’s around 8 years now, but never once completed more than 100 pages of it. It’s such an intricate tale with highly complex interwoven characters which I found extremely difficult to pace along with the narration. In plain language I found it extremely boring to my thriller addicted mind.
That also makes me wonder what I was when at 16 or 18.I was this lad who had his arteries overflowing with high amounts of testosterone. The only books I preferred were the ones which described atleast a tinge of physical relationship between two lovers. My friends had a collection of magazines which included DEBONAIR,FANTASY and we read FEMINA and WOMAN’S ERA more than our Maths or Physics text books. And now after several years, when I read of young lads of the same age, having read these classics, I wonder if I was much more naïve and dim-witted than is normally permissible. Said that, I was also this guy who chased anything in a woman’s cloth. My heart would melt like cubes of butter put on a hot pan at the sight of a pretty woman and had many a tale to tell about the failed attempts at wooing girls. I was even nicknamed CHOCOLATE since I spent more pocket money on buying chocolates for girls than my father spent on petrol for his scooter. Click here to read a sample chapter on that.
My first foray into serious literature was reading ‘Midnights children’ when at college. The book had me change my reading preferences. I decided to read the book simply because my roommate Rahul read it and braged how much he liked it and how he thought Rushdie was the best of the writers. Having had a bloated ego, I decide to read it and flaunt myself about my familiarity with world’s best work of literature. But started reading and I was transformed. I genuinely read it because it captivated me and transformed me to the world of magic realism. Rushdie’s books do command attention and careful reading, but if you can focus, you reap rich dividend. Written in prose so inexpressibly striking and captivating that I found myself holding my breath unwillingly countless number of times.
It was also a realization that serious literature can also be exciting and I longed for reading several classics, which otherwise I thought looked best inside a book case. I was hooked to reading. Another book which made me realize the worthiness of literature was reading V.S Naipaul; his classic “A house for Mr. Biswas.”. I don’t know how many would agree with me, but its one of the best books I have read so far. It's easy to empathize with Mr. Biswas, the protagonist of the book, for he is a character of the most universal sort .The character was more like me, a symbol of the emancipation of controlled people, yearning for freedom to be himself.
Another book that enthralled me was The black book, by Orhan pamuk. It’s a translation from the original in Turkish, but the content of the book is universal. The black book is about searching - search for identity in a culture which is at the fringes of the western world, search of a loved one, search of oneself, search for meaning in life, search for the core of a city which does not reveal itself at first sight. The first I heard of Pamuk was after winning the Nobel Prize but I am extremely glad that I bought the book. It took unusually long for me to finish reading this book, but it was a highly rewarding experience.
Having mentioned Naipaul, I must tell you that I am currently reading his not so famous ; GUERILLAS, and I was planning to come with my version of the review. I guess it would take another week for me to finish the book.
If you are wondering why suddenly I have comeup with this post about books; its out of a feeling that I have been writing self degrading posts lately. But to tell you frankly I write such posts where I laugh about myself not because I have insecurities about me. I laugh at myself because I have this cocky confidence, which makes me believe that I am as good as any of “the best”, if not the best and nothing can injure that belief in me.
I have bunged myself away from a fragile ego.
Ciao all..( and wait for my review)
p.S: Please wait for my book review. Thats the next post.