Nah, nothing to do with boobs. The post is about books and me. 🙂
Every time there was a book fair in Patna, dad would take me to Gandhi Maidan and buy me books, most of them filled with many pictures. Dad himself used to be a wonderful story teller. His stories would enthrall me and my siblings for hours before we’d fall asleep. I guess he was slowly trying to make us become independent of him when it came to catching up with good stories. Slowly, we started reading on our own. Though almost all the books that he bought were in English, I remember his heart going sometimes for the Hindi translations of Russian folk story collections (Roosi Loke Kathaayein). I still remember the story which was more like a poem and began with Gulgule ‘o gulgule (check out an english version of the same here).
Unfortunately I didn’t prove to be a book worm. After a while, I failed to see the point in reading stories. They were unreal right? Who cared for stories? Things changed until I discovered this book called Fan Club in dad’s closet. This was a pulp fiction, full of sex. I loved it. Suddenly I saw a point in reading fictions. I moved on to Sidney Sheldon and was amazed by his talent as a story teller. Reading ‘If tomorrow comes’ had been an experience in itself. I just could not stop reading it, so fascinating was the story. More pulp fiction happened, and then I soon got bored of fictions. Enough of sex, enough of thrill, enough of detectives, enough of plots. They were stories afterall and after a while I failed to see the point in reading stories. In search of a non-story I stumbled upon The Dancing Wu Li Masters which opened up the world of non-fictions to me. The book was interesting but heavy at the same time. After (almost) finishing this non-scientific book on science and quantum physics, I realized that life was more about enjoying light readings than trying to figure out the connection between God and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. I picked up a fiction again. But reading it was anything but light reading. Rather, reading it, totally changed the way I had looked at fictions.
It was the book named Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. Reading this book sucked the juices outta my ass. It just shook my mind and gave jitters to the toughest cells of the brain tissues. I never knew a fiction could leave you feeling so uneasy and could drain so much energy out of your body and soul. I could not read any book for a long long time after having read this one. Reading this book was very much like taking one of those wicked rides in amusement parks, where the ride plays with your body locked in a basket, throwing the basket in gravity defying loops, leaving you all dead by the time it all ends. You really don’t feel like taking another ride for a while till the shook up cerebrum reaches anywhere near stable equilibrium. This one book made me realize that I was bored only with pulp-fictions and not fictions in general. But ever since, I dared not read anything as brain-crushing as the ZATAOMM. I am sure if I try reading Da Vinci, I will go through the same feelings.
It was time to move to non-fictions. Freakonomics was a nice easy interesting read and then two very interesting books by Malcom Gladwell followed. Non-fictions were succeeding in keeping me happy with Friedman’s The World is Flat only helping me being convinced that non-fiction reading was certainly more meaningful than wasting time over pointless stories.
Welch’s Winning however, totally spoiled the show. It told me that not every non-fiction was good. It taught me to separate the I-will-teach-you-how-to-do-business kind of books from the better ones. For once, I craved at getting back to fiction and Coelho’s 11 minutes showed up. It was no where as intense as ZATAOMM but the book belonged the same genre and was a good enough non-pulp-fiction story. This was in the summer of 2007.
I hadn’t really read any book in quite some time till I finished reading The Inscrutable Americans (lent by Prach) by Anurag Mathur few hours ago. Reading this light fiction was a like a warm up exercise. I guess I am ready to take something real strong now. I made Neha buy this one called A short history of nearly everything a couple of days back and the moment she is willing to lend it to me, I should hit the nail.
It’s early Monday morning. Tomorrow is road race. Wish me all the bery besht for it.