30 January 2011

2010 Journey of words!


Here is a tally of 2010 the year which was supposed to be less busy and more focused reading. But I have clocked even lesser number of books than the year where I spent 12-14 hrs in office each day. Now what could be the reasons even when I had all the time in the world. Reasons are mainly two we shifted homes so for most part of the year we were setting up the house and whatever remaining weeks we had we were travelling across country.. a whole lot of cities, towns, tourist destinations, activities and sightseeing, photography, conversations, travels, journeys, drives, oh wow....
And of course I don’t regret any of that. I think I made the best of the time and filled in the spaces with reading gems of the year 2010 and here is a quick reflection and words on the year gone by...
Started the year with a cute little story by O Henry ‘The Gift of Magi’, simple and romantic..gently touching the chords of your heart.. the next book could have been romance too but it turned out to be a spoof Chetan Bhagat’s ‘Two States’, in fact a blunder book and bollywood-ish version of boy meets girl and north meets south... wait till the movie comes out..  after such a disappointment I found the ‘Book Thief’... a book about a book lover to the extent of stealing. A world of books and stories shining bright from a child’s eye set in the dark era of holocaust. It was sad but beautiful interpretation of life and words.. but there was no way of getting rid of Chetan Bhagat’s genre when I met it in the form of ‘Zero Percentile – Missed IIT Kissed Russia ‘ a mix of 5 point someone & 3 mistakes of my life... same old issues of growing up nerd boys missing company of girls, flunking tests and turning into duds..  

But my list of duds goes on with ‘Angels & Demons’ a complete disappointment to Da Vinci Code even though its supposed to be a predecessor to the latter.. it is a failed attempt to creating a reality from a lot of historical facts or myths instead turning it into a mish mash of a weak plot, historical revelations, mass murders and religious concepts. But after this I turned into the safe arms of the mistress of mystical tales.. I mean ‘The Mistress of Spices’ by Chitra Banerjee.. Misty... fragrant... intoxicating.. mythical... spicy!! But this was followed with ‘Red Earth and Pouring Rain’ another failed attempt by a known and read author – with only the title of the book worth reading...

But post this I found the best book of 2010 in fact the best book ever in all my life’s reads. I am thankful that I found this book and I feel privileged one to have read and owned Manto’s ‘The Bitter Fruit’.. I can’t even say the way each and every story of his has touched me and my soul. After each story or character sketch, that I read, it lingered in my mind and kept coming back to me in my dreams, my thoughts and conversations... There has never been and never can be a better Short Story writer than him, like his stories his life too was short and ironical... I just wish.. I had more of him to read...

Followed up after this were the extra-ordinary mish mash, hodgepodge, jumble-mumble, pish-pash, mingle mangle, duo of ‘Alice's Adventures in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking-Glass’. Still living the long dream I found Chitra Banerjee’s book ‘Queen of dreams’. After reading all her old books this was the only one remaining on my wish list.. until she came out with her new release 2 months later.. so I grabbed the book immediately as soon as it became available on Kwench. The next few books were like a gentle breeze ‘The White Tiger’ simple and strong.. ‘The Shadow Lines’ typical Amitav Ghosh’s style of writing giving you a feeling of gentle waves soaking your feet at the sea shore...

But then I got the fever of reading English classics starting with ‘The Phantom of Opera’ – ghostly, mystery and passionately romantic; ‘Three Men in a Boat’ – comical, cute and adventurous, ‘Lady Susan’ – Jane Austen’s typical stiff upper lip, gloating, superficial 1900s English upper society, ‘A Room with a View’ – a gentle romantic tale of love and society; ‘Pygmalion’ - short, funny, sarcastic,  classy, drama, comedy, dreamy and real; ‘The Canterville Ghost’ - Short & Cute story with everything nice and adorable even the ghost; ‘A May Evening’ – believe it or not an abrupt & average work of the writer of The Overcoat – Gogol; ‘White Nights’ – famed story of love and loss, the famous words – “Oh, if only he were you!...Oh, if only, you were he!”

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