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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Of Breaking Even,Almost !!!

In our farmhouse,there's this big red trunk.It is full of my father's bibliomaniacal treasures.Scores upon scores of books,of every description,size and shape.some of the best hours of my village visits are spent browsing through it,and each expedition brings forth new gems.As I grow older,my finds have ranged from Huckleberry Finn to Ben Hur to Bertrand Russel to Rousseau.But there is one find that I count among the best things that ever happened to me,truly a liofe changing experience..

It was eight years ago,as far as I can recall.Having derived all the possible pleasure out of watching a bunch of supercillious cows,I decided to rummage the big red trunk.I climbed up to the top of the storage room,opened it up and started digging.After about half an hour of dilligent mayhem,I chanced upon a funny looking book.It was "The Girl On The Boat",by one P.G. Wodehouse.so,I took it out,lay on the bed and started reading.

It was five minutes into the read that something happened.Something strange.Suddenly,I was laughing,uncontrollably,hysterically and violently.Lolling around on the bed,with tears in my eyes,trying to stop my guts from busting.I just couldn't stop,try as I might.My mother gaped at this strange apparition and ran to call my father just as I fell from my bed and tumbled to the ground,still guffawing like the dickens...My mom wrenched the book from my hands and anxiously showed it to dad,holding it ever so gingerly like it was a deadly poison or something.A look of apprehension gave way to comprehension,as an understanding smile spread on my father's face and he said,"Relax Farree(my mum's name),it's just Wodehouse !!"

It's just Wodehouse,talk about an understatement.From that moment on,I have been enthralled by the Master's works,lost in the beauty,intricacy and complexity of his language,and laughing my guts out at every other page.Once I got hooked,there wasn't any stopping me.Every library and bookshop I visited was with the sole intention of getting my grimy hands on some Wodehouse.It was a slow journey,and uptill four years ago,I had managed to get only five Wodehouse books.But that was before i got to ******(name protected for reasons of secrecy).As I entered the library,my jaw fell as I saw rows upon rows of Wodehouse books.Just lying there in a cold damp corner.

Over the next two years,I read each and every one of them again and again and again.Then it was time to move to some new place,but my wicked mind couldn't bear the thought of letting all these treasures stay behind.So in a feat worthy of Jesse James and Robin Hood,I did what any right minded collector would do.That's right,I STOLE THE BLOODY LOT !!!!!

Over the course of five days,I smuggled a total of thrty six books from thye library to my home and hid them.The only reason I'm not in a kaboos is that the library staff were so negligent that they didn't even know those books existed in the first place.So,I had a sizeable stash,but some were left behind,and there they lie to this day.And each day my heart bleeds at the thought of those that were left behind.But not to be outdone,I went there again this month.Just walked in with an airy nonchalance,nodded to the librarian,went to my old spot ....and shoved a couple more in my trousers.Then it was the walk back,again giving the librarian the most angelic of glances and walking gingerly so as not to drop my strategically placed load and I was out !!!

Now ,the Master wrote ninety books in total,and finally after years of collecting,I almost managed to break par yesterday.That is,I bought(didn't steal for a change) my 45th Wodehouse book.Almost,because belive it or not,just like in a Wodehouse story...somebody's stolen it !!!!


Movie Of The Week:"The Adventures Of Robin Hood (1937)"
Song Of The Week:'Allah Tero Naam',Lata Mangeshkar'

5 comments:

  1. a post worthy of wodehouse? well, saying that might be blasphemy, but u did come in close.
    loved ur bibliokleptomaniacal tendencies, since that's one of my daydreams. also, ur writing style

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  2. i have yet been incapable of stealing from the library....and so I will always be but apart from that it was nice to read this thing you wrote on wodehouse. I can relate to it--except ur kleptomaniacal tendencies of course :P It's been long time since i've read him and I still remember when I had people staring at me in a lib during a wodehousian trip!
    He has been a major indirect influence in my life and I will be ever grateful to him... i'll read ur other entries now :)

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  3. Talk about stealing books and we have our very own,Mr.Musab bin Noor!Honestly,although I have my own share of being a good biblioklept,but can't compete you.(not good at one of those angelic glances to the people who i steal from):o)Still reading "Leave it to P.Smith"and the intelligence with which every sentence is written,leaves my aesthetics awestruck and hungry for more.waiting for other recommendations from you.

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  4. Wodehouse gave me so many days of laughter of the shrieking variety that I love it when I find anyone else talking about him...don't know what he'd make of being stolen of library shelves..what about the other poor kids who might have woken up to the glory of the master SOME day?

    and yeah, the girl on the boat is superb.

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  5. Re amooma.That sure would be blasphemy,but thanks anyway.Re anonymous,thanks,but not many share my kleptomania.Bertie's earlier valet,Simmons maybe...
    Re Bohemian,thanks beta u'll get more reccs.Re scheherazade.Valid point there,but I had 2 be a bit greedy,warna I'da lost 'em all...

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