Monday, September 22, 2008

The Pleasure of Reading...

...surpasses every other pleasure--for me. Put me in a room full of books that get automatically renewed/replaced periodically and I'll stay there for all eternity, unbothered about anything else. We picked up this dirty habit in early childhood when Dad would bring home all periodicals, magazines, books of the day(He still does it nowadays, with more vigour) and we'd fight over each other to read the latest installment of Champak, Amar chitrakatha, chandamama....the habit got reinforced in late school and early college years when I had more friends in fictional characters than in real life, the fictional world being more authentic and fascinating than the drudgery of everyday existence.

Circa 2005. I discovered blogs. And also discovered that I had sufficient cash flow by which I could indulge myself by purchasing every other delicious book I could smell. Three years of software testing and I can say, I've read more during office hours than tested code(of course, by squeezing all work into my available 'work' hours and getting three headaches every month). I wake up early sometimes and read. Or sit late at night. Carry a book to the railway reservation queue. Or at the doctors. I read two books in between attending the marriage rituals of my sister-in-law. And sometimes during breakfast, I'll be eating more words than bread crumbs. Yet there are more unread books in my shelf than those which I've read. And my must-read list goes on and on making me wonder if I'll ever get to the end of it in this life-time.

But what's the point? Why read at all? Spend so much time-money -attention...for what purpose? The primary purpose is ...pure orgasm. Nothing else. And sometimes, a bit of illumination(eckart tolle, khalil gibran), inspiration(ran prieur, reality sandwich, Dave pollard) and new thought(last american man,flow). But most of the time, it's the simple intellectual and emotional kick/satisfaction that's derived by looking and wondering at life through eyes not your own. I bet, the pleasure center in the brain for sex, fruit-salad and reading must be the same!

And just as a new project starts at work, I come across this series of blogposts--a rendition of the Epic Mahabharata through Bhima's eyes. And a book on Ramayana by Kamala subramaniam which a friend has promised to deliver this weekend. And another set of translations of Marathi mythological novels in English (Mruthyunjaya and Yayati), which I'll get my hands on very soon.

If I were a gladiator I would've shouted, 'Felice di essere vivo e cazzo!' Yeah!!


  1. for some reason you Series of Blogposts didn't load in my browser. But I also think that having a roomful of every changing books would be like a bordello for the mind!

  2. As one who also loves to read, I keep in mind the words of that great philosopher, Groucho Marx: Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.

  3. Tabor, that's a stunning metaphor. Makes one ponder about what really motivates us(or the 'mind') to read.
    I wonder if an enlightend person--someone who has arrived--will have this drive to devour knowledge!

    The link that I've provided works if you refresh the page a couple of times.

    Hahaa Nick ;-)