Sunday, September 23, 2007

This one is for you, Aai

It took Namesake an entire fat book for the protagonist to get hooked to a novel. And it happened because the poor sod has nothing better to hold on to.

Various are the reasons why a book becomes a man's best friend. Dangerous, and fatal are the germs that carry this infection. In Namesake, the incubation period was far too long, too lonely.

I thank God, for giving me a mum who was such a bookworm that I got it too. The Sunday afternoon which had three of us, Aai, Raju ( my sis) and I, each sitting with her back against a tree, each with a novel from the local library. The place was a garden, and the triangle the trees made was aligned to a secret pot of nectar somewhere in the heavens. For a long time we sat thus, lost in our three different worlds, our feet in touching distance from each other's.

So, before I talk of the book that hasn't left my hands (mind, actually) since the last two days, like the dancer on stage, I thank the one who taught me how to love a book.

Beg, borrow, steal, fight for, give away, read in the toilet if no other place is safe. Buy, or occasionally, bid for. I confess, there are at least two books in my house, that I have stolen.

Beg? A few years ago, Aai was in a train when she saw her favorite author's book in a woman's hands. An unread edition.

"Excuse me, where did you get this book?" Aai asked her.

"Library" the lady answered.

"Oh. Which Library? When are you planning to return it? How much did you pay as deposit to the library? I mean, how much money will you lose if you don't return this book? "

...the end of the story is that the lady handed over the book to Aai, without even having finished it.

Goddess Saraswati, you are my birthright and I shall have you!

So the book I was talking about, is a book on a very interesting aspect of the life of a great writer: Amrita Pritam.

Actually, I started this post with the thought that I will write about Amrita-Imroz, A Love Story, by Uma Trilok. But I got so overwhelmed by my religious fervor that, well, if you have reached this far, you know what I am getting at.

Next blog: Amrita-Imroz, A Love Story, by Uma Trilok.

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