Sunday, April 16, 2006


She was lying there on her back, open and inviting. I could not help but notice her from the corner of my eye, as my hands moved deftly over another of her kind. Presently the number is around five I believe. It was not always so. I was not born a polygamist. Ah! But I was born a man, wasn't I?

Before my fellow men accuse me of having sold out to feminist propaganda, and before my fellow women nod their heads in approving disapproval I must hasten to clarify that this is not about the state of my relationships! No. Those of you who know me, know that I am a 0.1 woman man. Hmmm... on second thoughts, make that 0.5. But I am sure someone can psychoanalyze all this and find the politically-correct-artistically-challenged connection to the 1.5 relationships I have had in my life till date.

No, this is about books. I used to read one book at a time. Yes. I used to. I cannot quite put my finger on it as to when that changed, but now it's in such a state that I cannot even think of doing a them one-at-a-time. Now this is not to demonstrate my taste in books, which I am sure would appall quite a few literary types. I am, however, quite keen to analyze the reason for my "straying."

Let's see the ladies, which currently find me as their strange bedfellow every other night:
  1. It has to start with the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I am so deep into the panic induced by the hyper-galactic space noodles, which fell into the wormhole when the fjords of Norway were being designed, that I cannot even figure out the question to 42. I cannot capture in words what I want to say about this book because "that" part of my brain has already been sealed off by well meaning aliens seeking to protect me from my own brilliance.

  2. Then it back to dear old India in Everybody loves a good drought. I was almost as thrilled as Mangal Sunani (from Nuapada, Orissa) about the new miracle cow the government was about to give him and about as flummoxed as the Majhi Dhurua as to how could he be a Dhurua and his brother a Dharua! Believe me when I say that a "a" in place of an "u" can unleash such red-taped bureaucratic mayhem as cannot even be imagined by mere mortals, let alone the condemned lot who are actually affected by all this. Still if you decide to read this book, don't read it to find the real India, as many people tend to confuse it for, just read it.

  3. Lolita. Ah! Doesn't that name just roll of one's tongue? And will I be stoned if I write of such things? Surely, in such (modern?) times one must see the seduction of words, which entices a reader into this treatise of tremendous inflammable perversion. I am still reeling under its spell, and even perhaps occasionally smirking in comic relief at Humbert's plight.

  4. A journey into Aslan's land will show even the most unbelieving of fanatics that imagination is something that should not be trifled with. It, however, requires a certain frame of mind to take a talking badger for all it's worth. A frame of mind where a thorn and a lipstick are a thorn and a lipstick and whatever other image they can conjure inside your head, irrespective of what any book critic decides to say.

  5. Have you ever read Premchand before? I have, but never in a novel. It's the romance of a language that draws one into a story, and it is the romance of the story that keeps one entangled with the novel. Godaan (which translates to "The Gift of a Cow"), Premchand's last novel is the story of Hori, the farmer whose ultimate dream in life is to own a cow. I have never actually lived in a village, yet this story sort of smells of the earth.

Where in all this do you see the reason for these five to be my nightly cohorts? I am as puzzled by all this as by higher-dimensional manifolds in algebraic topology. And so it is that I am guilty of consensually indulging in this orgy of words. Maybe one day I'll be able to dissect how it is that I can remember five very different storylines. Until that time I can always go on being a man!

1 comment:

  1. Five books at the same time !!
    dude its easier to date 5 women at once !
    how can u read 5 at once ? im the one book man, if i like it i just get through it zip zap zoom and then move on, but you, you are the lover eh ?
    u take ur time with each one tasting and exploring each nook and cranny, sucking all of its juice.
    you monster.