It was about 10 am, when the loudest thud happened. I had dropped my 4th book – Journeys in the Night by Negar Akhavi (about 460 pages), into the kwench book return box. One of the best Anthalogy, I had read ever in my life. It was about one of the most dreaded disease in the society – HIV or AIDS. No! It wasn’t about how to prevent it or how to deal with it! But it was about how to survive with it. Different essays written by various veterans (in their field), while they spent time with various people infected with the dreaded disease. Certainly this book has helped me change my outlook towards the patients. If this book is read by everyone, the society would accept the infected ones with a hope of getting them cured. There are medicines and treatments available for HIV and in fact they are provided at no-cost by Government.
Well let me not write much about that book here, but all about my newest hobby – book reading! It was a normal working day for me, with lesser load of work and thus giving me some more free time. I was working in 12-9pm shift, so less occupied with work after 6 pm! A thought struck to me about what new am I doing in my life. I had heard my friends reading books and trying to strike a conversation with me about the book that they are reading currently. But I was least interested. I had a perception about books – why do we need to read about stuffs experienced by people and written by them? How would it help me?
Taking some steps backwards in time, when Egypt got free of its dictator (Hosni Mubarak) and Libyans were fighting for their democracy. The unrest of Libya had prompted me to study why is it happening there? I needed to study this a bit more. Any free time at work, I utilized it for this research. I was shocked to know a lot of facts about the globe. I always assumed that there are people elected governments everywhere! But realized lately, that dictatorship is not yet a history. It is prevailing in most of the countries, till date. Reading about their atrocities towards their civilians, the reason behind this, and the feeling of insecurity about losing their kingdoms are horrifying. The research intensified and concentrated more on Libya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Cambodia! Unveiling the facts, I wouldn’t say were exciting but they were the worst ever read by me.
Reading about the massacre in Libya’s Abu Salim prison or about the grand theft in Congo, The Beer Girls of Cambodia or lack of basic amenities in Ghana are no less shocking than the previous ones. The trivia around click that gave Kevin Carter, a Pulitzer Prize is still unsolved. Why didn’t Kevin help the Kid instead of clicking it for a prize? Not enough? Read more about the American Way of treating Guantanamo Bay Detainees and the blood diamonds of Angola or Zimbabwe. Everything helped me to realize that we live in the best of the conditions here, when compared to all others. We keep talking about Child Labor or the Women getting active about their rights. We and those women have someone to listen to. What about these nations where there is no one to listen to them? Government itself is creating atrocities against Humanity? Studying these facts opened my eyes – the world is not that good, as much as a good life I am leading here.
I needed to know and feel the real world more! There struck a thought to join a library. Checked about the library facility available within our firm. I needed to register online and the charges would be deducted from my monthly pay. Registering took less than 5 minutes and I was all set to order my first book. Browsing through the list I thought of going for some Indian Author. One night @ Call Centre struck my mind. With my personal experience of working in a Call Centre and a bollywood movie also based on Call Centre, I thought of checking the book instead of the boring movie. The name of the Movie really didn’t excite me much. So this book was preferred. There comes the book next day @ 12:00 noon if I ordered it before 06:00 pm today!
Waiting desperately for the clock to show 12:00 noon on next day! It was, and I moved to the Reprographics desk to collect my book. While walking back, I preferred to look at the book than to others. People look you with a different attitude when you walk carrying a kwench book. Lot of them who are under work pressure, dream of seeing themselves in your team to enjoy the books. Managers of other teams may be look at you for a different reason amidst the market volatility. Some more easy going employees look at the book rather than you, just to see which title you are reading. I was sure to not to read it in office hours – I have loads of tasks at my workstation! This new delicacy would be savored only when am traveling back to home (in evening) or when am fresh towards office (in morning). Prakash gets to know about this new addiction and he warns me not to read while am in the bus. Reason? Your neck would pain due to jerks of travel and your eyes may get weak as it’s tough to concentrate on characters while the bus is in motion. I had ignored him and the warning for 3 days continuously, till the pain took over me on 4th day! But I have to deal with, coz I can’t read when am at home or at office! I developed my way of reading while the jerky journey goes on. Hold the book in both hands, keep your body so loose that if there are jerks > your body and the book, both jerk out in same direction! This helped me enough to read! The CB thing was a good one and I got a feel of why people liked it, especially the Indians! Though covering the entire incident in one night? I suspect this a bit – for what happened at the call centre with Bakshi!
And this was completed in X days! The first thud that I did wasn’t much loud! What next? And my bestestest friend suggested me a Jeffery Archer’s title – Not a Penny more, Not a Penny less! I never thought of reading an European Writer, may be because am not much used to European English and even the tough twists they give into the story. But with an assurance of her’s, that I would love this story, I ordered. There it comes at 12:00 noon again and I have to wait till the time-piece shows 5:30 pm. 5:30 pm – we are into bus, ready to travel back home! I had settled down, took off my Identity Card and transferred to my bag. Pulled out the Jeff Archer title, and uncovered it from the plastic. It was mentioned “the Bestseller” and hence I was getting more curious to read it fully. Going through the Dedications & preface I could make it out that it was a typical European that I had an image of in my mind. Starting with the first story, I was amazed at the level of detailing done for each thing – may be a living one or a non-living one. As I proceeded, the number of characters went up but in a slower pace. The suspense building up was also more intense with every new page. Sometimes I had to read a few pages back, to understand the characters once again. The way I was taken back in the story is also amazing. You can’t predict a single event of the book and the same sentiment continues till the last paragraph in the book! And in another X days, this book also did a thud in the kwench book return box.
Impressed by Jeffery Archer’s style of presenting, I went for another JA book recommended by my bestestest friend – A Quiver full of Arrows! A quick searching on the kwench website, this book was available for Borrowing > hit the borrow button > and the wait starts for next day’s noon. And there it was in my hands. It was no different than the one that I had read before though it was a collection of short stories as opposed to earlier being a novel. Jeffery Archer hadn’t missed his way of building suspense to its height. With each flowing story, you would experience a different stroke on canvas. The painting was completed with last stroke and there was thud, third time, at kwench book return box.
I don’t know if it was a co-incidence or if Almighty had planned for me to go back in time with some good memories. A Google Addict had reached to Google’s homepage, may be @ 08:30 am, approx, for some information search. The Google Addict was awestruck at the amazing Google Doodle. Hovering mouse pointer over it, he could read -”Mark Twains’ 175th Birthday”. This small thing that took him years back, when the Google Addict was enjoying his school life, may be in 4th Grade! On his Birthday, he was gifted 2 books by his friend. They were – The Prince and The Pauper (by Mark Twain) and The Hound of Baskervilles (by Sherlock Holmes). Both these titles were mere books without any Photographs! All text, all text continued for first 3 – 4 pages and that didn’t impress him to read further. Thankfully the one who had gifted both the titles, to the Google Addict, never asked for how the gift was? They had been into the closet for years, until the Google Addict found his newest friend who was a Book Reader. An idea struck to the Google Addict, to have a better friendship with him. He gave away both the titles to him, without ever reading once! The friend certainly was amazed at the titles and so good became their friendship. Back to date, its 09:00 am and the Google Addict has now turned into Facebook Addict. The Facebook Addict is discussing the Google Doodle and the Gifting Story with his Bestestest friend. The Bestestest Friend gets a notification from the kwench page (on Facebook). The kwench page is updated with a tribute to Mark Twain and the associated pic shows an image of the same title. The Facebook Addict had paid no attention to it. The Bestestest Friend writes the good things about that same title – The Prince and The Pauper! The small description of the story lured the Facebook Addict to order it on kwench portal. This book would have been the longest reading time for him and he hasn’t liked much about the fantasy of Pauper or the urge to feel Offal Court of the Prince!
Fourth thud in kwench book return box, and the planning for a week-long-vacation was on! Finally off to vacation, and the Facebook-cum-Google addict is now savouring Chetan Bhagat’s 2 States!!