Sunday, April 19, 2009

Readers' Paradise

This is about books.
Well, not books exactly but my reading style, book preference, bookstore choice... blah blah blah... u'll see...
I have half a mind to start with the ONE line that i've seen soo many people start their debates with.....

" The oxford dictionary defines books as.... "
and I hate it when someone says that.... I mean, where's the innovation?? why does everyone say the same stuff?

Anyhow..... I've always liked reading... ever since I can remember.... although, its been on and off kinda..... as a kid, I used to love comic books.... my mom even got our newspaper waala to deliver the new releases of each week at home. So yea... lots of comic books..... I grew a little and started feasting on the short stories.. Enid Blyton and stuff ...The most memorable part was when I would get my English literature books at the start of a new academic year ...I'd read the entire thing in a couple of days! ...siiiigh... how I love the smell of newly printed books... its so... Inviting.
I have no other words for it....
I'd loved issuing books from the school library.... NO, I never read the hardy brothers or any such crap... I was more into Dr. Doolittle , classics and the likes.... I'd come home... not study the entire day... just read. Occasionally my Dad asked me why I wasn't doing coursework, and left after I didn't come up with a good enough answer. "Dad, I like this. Schoolbooks are boring. " .... "Dad, he just found a chair with wings... I need to know the next part!" ..... and so on...
Then came the Harry Potter era. I think I was in the 9th when the first one released.... suddenly, all everyone was talking about involved this book rising in popularity charts... Newsflashes depicting incidences of overcrowded bookshops (Nope, India TV wasn't there yet, The phrase 'Breaking News' wasn't used for everything.) were on TV .And so I got my hands on the first HP book... and I absolutely loved it !!!

You know, I noticed something lately...

Blogs have this awesome quality ....making the author seem larger than life.... whatever the topic of writing. Seriously..... think about it....
I admit that I'm not as voracious a reader as I'd like to be. But that's just me ( refer to the blog title if ure too thick !).... I sometimes don't get my hands on a book for months at a stretch if the situations are such. Last month , on the other hand, I read 3 different ones...

The white tiger ( the man booker...why??), Shalimar the clown and A fine balance ( WOW !)... I travelled a lot that time, actually... so I read a lot too ! One of my favourite places to read in is the window seat on a train . Its just so comfy, reading while everything rushes past.... Thats for another day, though ......

I sometimes daydream about having an incredibly well furnished reading room with a La-Z-boy and a huge book shelf. Other times the room gets converted into a gaming zone with a PS 3, a pool table, a foozball table and a pinball machine... the La-Z-boy stays put though ;)

About Bookshops... which one's your favourite? If ure in delhi... Om book shop maybe? Oxford? I have a preference here too.... See, even though I love the sight of so many books, the humongous bookstores don't really appeal to me. What do, though, are small, cozy bookshops.... You know, the ones in corners ( no, not the porno collection... jeez .. !) ... those that you would've missed probably while walking past.... those that don't necessarily send pamphlets about sales to ur doorsteps..

I was in a city called Jalandhar last month when I came across a similar bookshop. I wouldn't really have noticed it if my cousin hadn't pointed it out... " hey, u like to read na... check that out."

The first thing that struck me was the sign board displaying the name. "Readers' Paradise" .... I smiled looking at the apostrophe at the correct location, after the "s" in "readers"..... "Finally! " I said to myself.. "A signboard with correct grammar!"

I went in and noticed piles of books on the sides.... immediately the smell hit me with that same nostalgia of settling down with a paperback ( I never could take to reading ebooks... uuggghh ) .... There was a middle aged guy sitting behind the counter , reading something.... I looked around a little and noticed he didnt have any trashy stuff... just good, readable ones..... I had been hearing about this author called 'Rohinton Mistry' for a while, and wanted to get one of his works.... so I asked the counter guy about him and he had 2 of the guy's books. I chose one.... in the meantime I was chitchatting with the guy... turns out he was actually the owner of the shop.... said he never wanted to have a large bookshop, just a good one like this... quality over quantity kinda thing....

Oh n yea.... funny thing... every 2 minutes, someone would walk in asking for a box of pencils, a packet of A4 sheets, pens etc etc...... After refusing the 5th person to ask him, he said to me .."you know, there's a sign behind the counter that says NO STATIONARY....I thought people read...."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The incompetent camera's efforts at redemption.

I like clicking pictures.

To the innocent, this seems like a harmless sentence.... " So, u like clicking pictures... cool, grab a camera, CLICK! "
For the "worldly-wise" , this simple sentence metamorphoses into a cluster of counter- inquisitions:

- why?
- hmm, what kind of pictures? (some morons might even have a smirk by this time)
-You got a camera? What kind is it?
-Does it earn you any money? (if yes, they might wanna buy a camera too...thats the next question)

- Will you click mine? ---on clicking---oh, show me show me!

Anyhow, I'm not keen on answering any of the above....
Here's some random stuff that I clicked :

aah.... wilderness in the city.
(A hint of exaggeration? )

This is a temple in the city of jalandhar in Punjab... its called the 'devi talab' for obvious reasons.

Purple. Love it!!! I noticed the single ray of light visible on the petal in the picture. woohoo! My first captured solar ray :P

I like to think of this as rising above boundaries.
Then again, its just a tree and a fence.
Personal perspective.

Defines Delhi in so many ways.
The greenery, the flyover, the broad road, the litter.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ghar ki murgi...

hahahahahaha !!!!

no, I haven't gone berserk, I'm just laughing! Its just that as soon as I clicked on the ' new post' tab, this self-morphed slim shady stanza began playing in my head.... instantaneously .. here's how it goes..

na na na na na.... na na na na na..... na na na na na.... na na na na na ...

Guess who's back?

Back again..

Mohit's back ..

Tell a friend ..

guess who's back ...guess who's back ...

guess who's back (deepening)

no!!! not lame, it really is funny... sing it in the tune.....well, makes me laugh anyway...

Have you ever thought about the adages that've been supposedly passed down from generation to generation? well, this thing happened with me, and I realised how much the situation befitted a particular proverb...
here's what happened..

You know how Adidas n Reebok have this bi-annual 40% off sale? A few months back,one friday, this particular sale was on, and I was generally browsing through the stock... just then, dark clouds blocked out the sun and thunder started rolling across the skies. I walked out of the store and to my astonishment, the clouds were concentrated only over the store that I had been in... also, fire breathing dragons with saddles and armoured, horned creatures with medieval weapons riding them were flying straight towards me.... one of them fired a flaming arrow at me, and all I could do was cover my ears in the frightening thunder ... I fell over , overwhelmed, and noticed the shop number... and that's when it occured to me, and I smiled at the newly gained knowledge of why I was 2 inches away from gruesome death... the shop number was 13.... Friday the 13th... I should never have come out shopping.

naaaaa..... In case uve closed your eyes and covered your face in anticipation of my untimely demise, revel in the knowledge that I was exaggerating a bit. Well, I totally made that up!!! (I'm sure you would've guessed that by case u hadn't, GROW UP !)

I dunno what got into me back there... I really was gonna go on with my sale story, when I started imagining...

anyhow... so as I was saying... the 40% sale was on, and I'd gone to the store with my bro to look for shoes for him.... next thing I know, I'm looking at this GORGEOUS pair of basketball shoes with silver streaks on black..... and on 40% discount !! SCREW IT, I said to myself... and we walk out the store with the shoes in my hands ( nope, my bro didn't find anything 'gud enuf ' ). So what had been intended to be a shopping visit for my bhai's feet, turned out to be an impromptu pampering for mine!!!!

Fast forward a few months......
I'm wearing my oh-so-sexay shoes and I'm browsing through another adidas store....
on the high shelf, I spot them again.... brand new, shining... even the same size as mine... the exact same pair...looking at me from up there. I walk up, lift the shoe from its podium.... look it up and down... examine it.... everything identical.... look at the price... yup, I did get 40% off.... and I realise that the shoes aren't talking to me anymore !! - You know that feeling? or maybe ur just not the 'shoe type ' - like they did the first time I saw them....

I look around, keep the shoe back on its podium... go left and pick up a snazzier pair of ball shoes, complete with plastic and springs and all...
and the voice in my head calls out........ "Now that's what I call SEXY !!"

I was thinking about this today, and I realised that I know a hindi proverb that fits the situation perfectly!

--- Ghar ki murgi daal barabar ! --

Literally translated : -- Hen of the House equals Lentils-- ( clever, I know :P)
In English, it means You never appreciate what you already have .
I guess our forefathers were pretty bright, eh? ;)