Dec 16, 2014

Shelfie - A selfie on my bookshelf - part 2

This post is a continuation to the part 1 of this thread initiated by Penguin India's #BookADayIndia event in the social media. This is a compilation of the answers to the questions posed by Penguin in the second half of this December.

Dec 16 : Your favourite Jane Austen character? It is Jane Austen's birthday. 

How absurd will I sound if I said I have not read any Jane Austen book so far? Nevertheless, on her birthday, prompted by Penguin, I looked her up on Google and found some of her quotes very interesting. Here is the one that I liked the most. Maybe I should read Jane Austen to understand some of the interesting women that I never quite understood well enough in my life.

Dec 17 : A book that made you hungry? 

My Business Law lecturer gifted this book to me during my MBA. I never knew that this book would change my life at that point of time. This book planted the idea of entrepreneurship in my mind and made me hungry. When the first opportunity presented itself, I grabbed it and today my life is defined by that single move I made. Think of the butterfly effect!

Dec 18 : Favourite autobiography ? 

I have only read two autobiographies so far - Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam's and Sachin Tendulkar's. Sachin's autobiography will be my pick because reading Sachin's autobiography was also like visualizing my own autobiography. I was able to relive the moments of watching all the matches and the innings that Sachin narrated in the book. Only now, I became a little bit more wiser by knowing what was in the master's mind at that point of time too.

Dec 19 : A book to read when homesick ? 

'Thaayaar Sannadhi' by Sugaa. (Tamil) I am a simple small-town boy from Tirunelveli in South Tamil Nadu. If you know Tirunelveli, then I am from Ambasamudram. If you know Ambasamudram too, then I am from Vickramasingapuram. If you know Vickramasingapuram too, bloody hell, you might as well have seen me spending summer vacations eating Adhirasam all day there. This particular book strongly made me feel the flavour of Tirunelveli with its intricate dialect and amazing familiarity with the town. Tirunelveli is a way of life! This book made me visit my place mentally. 

Dec 20 : Favourite fairy-tale character ? 

I have not read much of fairy tales. Only 'Snow white and the seven dwarfs', that which I received as the first prize in an elocution competition in primary school. Otherwise, this is the first character that comes to my mind when I think of fairy tales. Really enjoyed watching this movie. Feel-good :-)

Dec 21 : A book to gift around Christmas ?

Let me turn the tables here. This is a book that I have added to my wishlist. The blurb appealed a lot to me and I want to read this book. Who is going to turn Santa to me? (Link to buy the book) If you are still serious, drop me a comment. I will give logistics details ;-)

Dec 22 : A book that makes you cry ? 

 The last time I had tears in my eyes while reading a book was when I finished 'Ayesha'- an extremely short Tamil novel about a curious young school girl. The book raised several questions on how we treat children in our schools and how childhood is seen by our society. Try reading this book if possible. Not more than 60 pages but I guarantee that it won't let you sleep for at least a week.

Dec 23 : Best book you ever received as a gift ? 

Surprisingly, as I think of an answer to this question, I just realize that I have received only just a handful of books as gifts. All my reading has either been bought or borrowed. Not gifted enough, perhaps (pun intended) :-) Nevertheless, there is one book that came in recently which holds a special place because of the circumstances. Strangely, I am yet to even read the book. But still, the moment I received this book as a gift is simply unforgettable. 

Dec 24 : Favourite family read ? 

My father is an avid reader and is an inspiration for me to turn to reading from a very young age. We have vastly different tastes in reading but still we discuss books that each other reads and prescribe books to each other. Very rarely do we both read the same book with interest. One such book that we both read with equal interest and curiosity was also one of the oldest tales mankind has ever known. 
A version of The Mahabharatha in Tamil.

Dec 25 : Favourite Christmas book ? 

Again, I will rephrase this question as the favourite Christmas story. This is the first story that comes to my mind. 'The Gift of Magi' - O. Henry. A masterpiece. I am a great fan of O. Henry.

Dec 26 : A book on your shelf which you haven't read yet ?

'Introduction to psychoanalysis' - Sigmund Freud. My long term dream is to complete this book. I have made two attempts so far and have crossed more than half the book. I have made notes in the book all along like a text book so that whenever I restart, I can get a quick preview of what has been completed so far. Very fascinating thoughts! May be sooner I will complete this book.

Dec 27 : A book you couldn't put down ? 

'Ponniyin Selvan' (in Tamil) - 2000 odd pages. 3 days!

Dec 28 : An author you discovered this year? 

Made quite a few new additions to this list this year. Got to know some authors even better. Mostly in Tamil but also in English. One particular author draws a special mention because of his strong influence in my reading habit. He is the only author whom I wanted to dive deep into this year. Jeyamohan! One of my blog posts about a book of his was shared by him on his website. Proud moment.

Dec 29 : Your best read of 2014 ? 

Quite a few contentions for this prize. But one book stands tall amidst the rest because of a peculiar sync with my real life as I was reading the book. More than the book itself, some books become very very special because of the time in which you read them in your life. This timing almost seems like destiny in hindsight. As I was reading this book, I could relate the central character of this book to a dear friend in real life. The book helped me understand the friend better and vice versa. Couldn't have asked for a better timing.

Dec 30 : Happy birthday Rudyard Kipling! Your favourite Rudyard Kipling character?

Well, it was Jane Austen in the first half of this month. Rudyard Kipling now. Again, how absurd would I look if I said I have not read Kipling before? Again, I googled for famous Kipling quotes and fond this one which connected with me quite well. The same belief that I have most times too.

Dec 31 : Most awaited book of 2015? 

'Kanavu Pattarai' (Tamil) - a collection of short stories on many inspiring children who are living now in north Madras and are studying in schools run by the Chennai Corporation. They all attended a residential camp called 'Kanavu Pattarai', run by an NGO (Nalandaway Foundation) sometime in 2013 or 2014. One facilitator of the camps was so moved by the stories of these children and the camps that he began to document them for all world to read. He definitely believes that in their stories lies a key for adults to understand the world of children. He strives to show the different hues of child personalities that fascinated him. He hopes that this book will tell the importance of self-esteem in shaping a child's personality. He wishes that the adults who read the book pick up a trick or two about how to treat the society's children. He is working hard to bring this book out in 2015 through a good publisher. He is yours truly!


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