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.

1 comment:

  1. AmrithachandramouliOctober 21, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    With what I have heard about Ki Mu Ki Pi, I have always been wanting to read it, and felt bad that I cannot read something that exhaustive in Tamil. And yes, you do have an amazing language.