Monday, September 10, 2012

The Book Store by Madley Subway - Part II

It begins there, I said. I haven't read either of the two books completely, till now. I've only completed up to half of Sirpiye Unnai Sedhukugiren. But the developments which happened after the purchase of these two books is interesting. Aarthi's birthday came up in between, and I was going to pick books from FlipKart. I decided to play around on the site (The First-time venturers always do something extra, don't you think?) , thereby placing an order for a few other books which I was planning to read personally. Among the others I ordered were Shiva Trilogy (2 books - by Amish Tripathi) and Chanakya's Chant. (Ashwin Sanghi)

I've finished reading The Immortals of Meluha (First book to the Shiva Trilogy) and WOW is the one word I can sum up for Amish Tripathi's writing. I cannot believe that there's someone who can effortlessly retell the tale of 'Shivapuranam' in an excellent narrative like this. The fast paced story is set in the time of Indus Valley Civilization - 1900 B.C. Amish provides a map of ancient India right at the back of the cover page, much to our relief so that we can follow the journey of Shiva throughout the book in the pace of the author's imagination. The crux of the book is simple - When we say that there's a battle between the Good and the Evil, How do you know which side is Good and which is Evil? Simple, yet brilliant question. I've always imagined Lord Shiva as an angry God, ready to scorch anything around him in his fury and temper. I've grown hearing the adage - 'Netri Kann thirapinum, Kutram kutrame!' in reference to Lord Shiva's third eye which is between his brows. So I have never prayed to him on a personal front whenever troubled thoughts arise in me. Shivan is but the Destroyer, I would think. But here's our man Shiva, portrayed as a passionate lover, a confused individual, a man unsure of what he should do next, a man guilty of his past, as the one who swears retribution for his friend and a clever strategist. Essentially, Amish depicts Shiva as an adult who makes every mistake as us - thereby casting Shiva as human as we are. :)

What a Man!

The first part of the book is full of instances where Shiva unsuccessfully tries to attract a self-righteous and conservative Sati. You cannot help but feel bad when he fails every time. Later on, his vows of undying love for Sati in her death bed simply brings tears to the eyes. The scenes out of Dharmayudh are lively, wholesome and it brings to you what a war scene was, back in time of the Kings. In all, this is one book which you simply cannot put down once you start. I already have a copy of the sequel to this book - The Secret of the Nagas in my hand which I'll be starting soon. The Immortals of Meluha has been a thoroughly enjoyable read. It has opened to me the other side of Lord Shiva and I will stay connected with the Lord now, after realizing how kind and generous he actually is. Apart from this book, I also read Dork - The Adventures of Robert 'Einstein' Varghese by Sidin Vadukut. Very sad, distasteful stuff. I will not bother writing a review for it. Anyway, what is it with IIM Graduates? Every single one of them seems to turn into a writer in their thirties. :-D By far, Amish seems to be the best among them. :) I glimpsed into Madan's Ki Mu Ki Pi and it appears quite interesting. I randomly just read the part about Chanakiyar and how he made Chandraguptha whom he was. :) #Stunned. On a mental note, I must read this book also ASAP.

Being very honest, there is a volley of books that I'm committing myself to finish one after the other. Did I mention? Aarthi has been threatening us to read and give review for the birthday gift we presented - Nora Roberts' Night Series books which is of the Romantic Thriller genre. :-P None of us know how Nora Roberts actually writes. We wanted to gift her a unique book collection and this was it. At this rate, it seems like I can go on by sparing very little or no time for movies or TV shows. It's like my childhood days when books were enough companion for hours at a stretch. It feels as though I've been touching only good books ever since my visit to that book store by Madley subway. It's been more of a lucky charm, really! I can clearly remember even an SBI ATM booth that was near the book store. I'm elated at the prospect of being offered to read so much. Because when you read good books, it essentially transforms and makes you a better individual. I firmly believe so.

Random Life Happenings -

When I was in Fifth grade, my family and I went to a movie theater to watch Jeans. (Shankar directorial, starring Prashanth and Aishwarya Rai) There's a song Kannodu Kanbathellaam Thalaiva, where Aishwarya Rai dances to a classical tune sung by Nithyashree Mahadevan. At the end of the song, a skeleton dances and leaves the stage. :-D The song was SO GOOD that the audience in the theater asked for a repeat of the song once it was done. They yelled and hooted for a second time till the reel operator accepted to play it once more. So yes, we all sang, danced and enjoyed this lovely track again. Aah, Malarum Ninaivul, I say! :)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Book Store by Madley Subway - Part I

A weird title for the post, eh? :) Just couldn't think of a title better than this. This article is thoroughly going to be a journey of my reading habits and the beautiful relationship that I share with books.

Going back to the time when I was a kid, solely dependent on parents to buy everything - The most vivid memory that I recollect is of the endless trips to Higginbotham's in Mount Road and Yearly Book Fair when we were in Chennai where I nudged, threatened, pleaded and convinced my parents to buy the books that I wanted. More than craving for clothes and dolls at that age, my hands always spiraled upon the bookshelves of Landmark and the likes. You can read more on the Annual Book Fair that's held in Chennai over here. Since both my parents are avid readers, it's no big surprise that the habit eventually came onto me. I still remember how my mom would roll her eyes in exasperation whenever I asked them to pay for original paperback books, because they were costly in Higginbotham's. She would say that I shouldn't buy such expensive books since they're just one-time use, where I'd read and toss 'em aside after I'm done! :-D She considered (and maybe still does!) Fairy Tales and Childrens' books price tags were always biting our budget there. Dad, on the other hand, was very generous when I asked for buying books. Not once had he chided and discouraged me to buy books that I pointed to. Aah, I really miss him now! :) For so many reasons, I wish you were still around, Appa.

Apart from these purchases, I was also a regular at the book fairs that my school conducted grandly on an annual basis. When I walk into a bookshop - I do not walk out empty handed. That's a policy! I remember the boxes at home that literally overflowed with all my collection - novels, cartoon magazines like Archies, Tinkle, Barbie series, Mickey Mouse series, Goosebumps collection etc. I'd also sincerely subscribed to few monthly magazines that arrived from Mumbai. :) Cannot help but smile when I think about Rajappa Mama and the DD's he took for my sake, that were to be sent for the subscription to work. I must say here - My father also maintained a separate treasure trove for all his books put together. My mom is a very random reader, who reads whatever good books comes her way. She is not a finicky reader; Dad wasn't too. :)

What a sight!

Books were a complete companion, friend and protector in my childhood. You could leave me with a few books of my choice and safely assume that I wasn't up to anything for hours except for fervently reading the book(s). Did you know that my grammar has been almost impeccable - which I'm eternally proud of? I'd like to think that it's owing to my school background and the hours I've spent with paperbacks. There was a brief hiatus during my college days when I did not read as much as I expect I should've. Call it general instability or the lure of Facebook, the habit slowly evaded me as I began to devote more hours to my online presence. In fact, I still do! But it's a lot more controlled I would say. So yeah, after college I wasn't able to read at all owing to personal trauma, worries and insecurity. I wasn't adjusted at workplace and owing to daily pressure, I didn't spare a thought to reading books. Guilty me. I think - just maybe - the habit of reading books is back in me again. :) And wow, what a way it chose to reincarnate again.

A few weeks back, I going to T-Nagar, to buy gift for a colleague's wedding. My friend called me as I was traveling, asking if I could pick up a Farewell greeting card. My bad luck, after buying the gift - I couldn't spot even one shop which sold Greeting cards. Exhausted, but determined - I started to walk towards the road leading to Madley Subway from T-nagar the bus stand - in search of shops which sold greetings! After futile exploits of a few shops that sold musical greetings, general stationary etc I hit upon a shop which sold Tamil literature. With no intention to hang in there since they had no greetings, I was about to leave. And suddenly from nowhere I got hit with a jolt. I calmly asked for Ki Mu Ki Pi - by Madan, expecting it not to be there in the small shop. With a flourish, the bookseller picked it from among the shelves and gave it to me. BING! And then, I asked for Vairamuthu's Sirpiye Unnai Sedhukugiren, which he procured within a matter of minutes again. Just as a kid who got candy, I eagerly flipped through the other books on the shelves for some time, but picking none other, paid for the two books and came back - with a spring in my steps. :) True, the store had a lot other notable writers' books, whom I couldn't recognize. I mentally vowed that I would be back to the same shop soon. At the bus stop, my mom was waiting for me, half worried that we would miss the last service of MTC bus back home. It was already 9:15 PM. Smiling like a child, I said "These are for you.. Not exactly a sort of birthday gift. But something like that! Maybe we can read it together." Just like me, even she showed interest when confronted with good books. So now understand why this title for the article I'm writing? :)

Ki Mu Ki Pi - Vairamuthu

.. And there it begins. To be continued.