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Monday, August 13, 2007

...Of Me And P.G. Wodehouse...

(This is an older post,but one that can fit into this series of touchstones.I didn't have anything to add,so I'll put it here in its entirety)

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 !!!!


Song Of The Week,"Most Likely You'll Go Your Way,Bob Dylan
Movie Of The Week,"The Last Waltz
Book Of The week,"Sula",Toni Morrisson

2 comments:

  1. You found "The Last Waltz"?! Isnt it Brilliant? Especially Diamond, Young and Morrison's performances...and The Weight.

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  2. "Diamond was a bit low for me,but Young and Morrisson,WOW !!

    The best performance was by Dr. John,right at the start,thatswatithink ...

    ReplyDelete