The past month I have been obsessed with stories. Mid-March I got free from a project at work that had taken a mental toll on my faculties and I wanted to replenish it. And I did so by reading another book on the holocaust. Then I read the life sty of Karan Johar through his book – an unsuitable boy (I am refraining from calling it an auto-biography – more in a later post). Then I went on to watch the ten episode genius of Roshan Abbas called Storytellers in the living room and yesterday I finished listening to Nilesh Mishra’s podcast called Qisson ka Kona. All the while I was doing this I was also watching the period drama based in the early 20th century called Downton Abbey which was telling another story all together. Now that today I am at a lack of what to pick up next to feed my mind with more stories I thought I’ll blog about my fascination with stories. After all it has been a while (way too long a while) that I wrote something in the pages of suhaaandiaries.
Well my fascination with stories began way too early with Archie’s comics. It was a new world that I knew nothing about. My parents never told me stories while I was a little kid. The stories I knew was the Sunday Mahabharata and Ramayana on TV which my entire family used to watch religiously (pun intended). And one day, out of the blue when I must have been in the 1st or 2nd standard my Nani (maternal granny) cleared my Masi’s (my mother’s sister) book collection and decided to give away a pile of books to me. This included everything from Archie’s comics to abridged versions of classics like David Copperfield. I naturally started with the Archie’s comics with the bright yellow covers and the fancy illustrations of Veronica and Betty. I was obsessed. Even though at that age I did not completely understand it all but it was fun and I used to feel cool reading these fancy books. That was the beginning of it all. I then went ahead and binged on all the storybooks (Tinkle(s) and Champak(s)) available in the market. My first real book was Around the world in 80 days (the abridged version of course from my Masi’s collection). By the time I was in 4th standard I had read every book in that heap and my favorite was David Copperfield. It still remains so. I still cry when I read the chapter where David walks to find her aunt with only the village name as address and no clue how he will get there. My heart cries out to him when he sleeps under the sky. I have read it thrice since and I still went ahead and bought the 1000 page unabridged version. There is just something about that story that makes my heart cry. I have read many books since and it has always given me pleasure. There have only been a couple which I left unread. I have tried to finish everything I started, even the crappiest ones like One night at the call center and another one by Ravinder Singh (I forget the name but it was a love story where the girl dies) – I have had the resolve and finished them. The ones I couldn’t finish were The Trial by Franz Kafka and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The former I didn’t quite relate to or understand much. The concept of house arrest without a reason and then the trial in a dodgy place – what was that? It was weird and I just did not have the patience to complete it. The latter I tried to read twice but somehow could never relate to. I felt neither was Tom really or fictionally naughty. Tom’s character is not my definition of anything at all. I found him and his friend dumb and irritating at best, so decided to leave it there.
Well now I come back to the present and realize that I dwelled into my love for books and stories for a long read so I decide to write about the importance of storytelling in my next post. For now I will leave you here dwelling into your childhood and the stories you read then.