Friday, May 25, 2012

It's only words......

If there is one topic that I always wanted to write about, it is about my love for the language or rather words. It could be in any form, be it written, spoken or even sung.

At the cost of sounding a little crazy I must admit that I enjoy reading almost anything.From billboards , to monthly milk bills or even my daughter's story or rhyme books.Any kind of written word just clamors for my attention.

Same is the case with the songs that I like.If I like a song I end up memorizing the lyrics unintentionally.
My husband loves his music but he gets the lyrics funnily wrong.When I tease him about it he says that he loves the music and beats in the song.His point is "What has liking a song anything to do with the lyrics?"

This leaves me a little surprised.It almost like saying so and so actor is a great actor but only his dialogue delivery is bad.Would you like a movie where actors emote through facial expressions and there are no dialogues?Yes there have been some movies like that and they were absolutely entertaining but in general dialogues are an integral part of cinema.They provide an expression for the emotion.
Lyrics do the same for music.

This passion of mine is shared by my sister and I guess reading was one habit that we inherited from our parents.I just can't imagine a Sunday without thinking about the thick morning newspaper with all its supplements.If I don't see that paper in the morning I get restless.Morning tea is secondary.Someone fetch me the paper please!

Does this passion translate into some good reading.I really hope so.

So here I am listing down some books that I really enjoyed reading and were totally worth the time away from anything that could be called more productive(read work!)

The Green Mile by Stephen King:
This one tops the list.This one was suggested to me by (surprise , surprise) my husband who had watched the movie, the book was made into.

The first few pages are just horrific.They have gory details of the murder of two innocent children.You just want to put the book down so many times.But if you are brave enough to survive this initial hiccup, you realize that it is a beautiful story.My take away from the book was we try to judge people based on the situations that they are in.But if you rise above the preconceived notions that you have for someone , you never know what beautiful human traits you might discover.

The end is specially moving.My favorite part of the book is when the narrator Paul who is now a very old man, introduces his old age home companion Elaine to a mouse.It just gave me goosebumps even though the book is no thriller.


Kane and Abel by Jeffery Archer:
There are some books that are not exactly page turners while you are reading them but which stay with you for a long long time.

This is a classic tale of two feuding men, in the position of success and power who were born on the same day.

One was born with a silver spoon but in spite of that never for once takes his wealth for granted.

The other one was adopted and brought up by a poor family in a war torn Poland but he has this maniac zeal to be successful and wealthy. They meet each other only once and this one meeting gives rise to fierce enmity between the two.

But what I really loved about the book was part where the two of them now past their prime have a chance encounter with one another.They recognize each other and the way they exchange a greeting speaks volumes about their character.It tells that if you have to be a good friend to someone , you have to understand them well.You also need to respect the other for the person that he is.
But the same should be true for your enemies too.

If you don't respect the other well enough then the enmity is born out of your ego rather than from any real passion for revenge.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini:
Well this was the only book to ever make me cry.It is the story of two young boys having completely different social standing.
Hasan belongs to a tribe called  Hazara.This tribe formed the servant class in Afghanistan and they were inhumanly oppressed and discriminated against.

The other is the son of a wealthy businessman who craves his father love and attention.
They form a strong bond without knowing that they are actually half brothers.

Your heart goes out to the hazara boy Hasan who maintains his innocence and undying love for his friend in spite of the hardships faced by him.

His respect for Amir does not wane even though he was once accused of stealing by him.

It is a beautiful story about true friendship.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts:
If you look at the book, you would probably think "There is no way I will make through it"
It is close to a thousand pages.But once you start reading it, you wouldn't want to put it down.
It is the story of an Australian convict who escapes to Mumbai and ends up living in a slum.

The way he describes the under belly of Mumbai and his philosophical take on everything he encounters makes it a worthy read.

Its less about his journey and new experiences and more about how he connects to them on a spiritual level and is ever ready to absorb more.

The part that appealed to be most was when he is given a new name by the family of his friend(a cab driver called Kishore)

They decide to call him Shantaram as he is perceived to be a calm and peaceful person.

Apart from being totally engrossing , this story also stays with you for a long long time.

The Godfather by Mario Puzo: 
How can I talk about well written books and not talk about the Godfather.When you read a fiction about crime or criminals, you think of them are belonging to some parallel world.Even if you identify with them you rarely believe them to be real

But this is one book which brings to life the characters belonging to a Mafia family and shows them as real people.An extended family where people stay together, celebrate weddings ,have children  like any other normal family.

The only difference is that they run the business of crime.But it is looked at as a return of favor by a friend.

You help someone who needs it and when the time comes the Don( the head of the family) will call upon you to return the favor.

Real characters , excellent narration, a complete "read at one go" material.


PS: I know there are many other books that can make a bad day less stressful when you curl up with them.
If you feel the same about a book please don't forget to mention it to me.

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