Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Tintin - My initiation into the world of literature

I was never fascinated with reading or writing or any kind of literature for that matter.
Till about class IV I never read anything except my school homework and textbook and I was always a "night before the exam crammer". In fact the cramming went all the way till class XII and only in my post graduation did I actually "refine ".

There was this guy called Karan Das in my class who used to bring Tintin books. His vocabulary was very good and his spoken English was outstanding. My entry into the world of reading was actually mere curiosity and may be some child like jealousy that Karan could speak better English. The book called "Tintin and the broken ear" captured my attention and imagination. It is a book with a green cover depicting a red Indian, an American boy and a snow white dog rowing in a canoe. I asked Karan if he could lend me his book and he agreed. One book led to another and I must say he was quite selfless cause he never asked for anything in return from me. "Broken Ear" led to "Red Rackham's Treasure" and so on. I guess he had lent me around 6 books in a row.

In those "golden days" of my era, I was called " a whiz kid in class" and on top of it, everything I wished would happen, I would get anything I wanted...all this with absolutely no effort or cost from my side :) Why I say this is because, there was an obscure government library close to my house and the biggest wonder was the only English books they had were Tintin Books. I later came to know it was donated by one of my seniors in the neighbourhood who had out grown Tintin books. Lucky me :) I then went on to read "The Shooting star", "Red Sea Sharks", "Lake of Sharks" etc. and almost all the Tintin books of that era. Believe it or not, the "week magazine " also was running a series on Tintin and I could follow snippets by snippet of a story every week from my school library. I read "The Castafiore Emerald and Flight 714 that way". Thus I read almost all Tintin books without spending a single penny. God and the Universe must have conspired to fulfil the innocent desire of a "not so innocent" boy :)

Be it "the absent minded Calculus, ever Red-faced Captain Haddock, gullible Thomsons, quick witted Tintin, Snowy- the dog with a conscience and yes the infamous villian Rastapopulous",
the characters of the comic are so very well depicted and each character is etched in memory.

This craze led me to pick up "Doctor Who books" on which I have already written an article in this very page. Thankfully Doctor Who books also came to me on a platter, I read 86 of them without spending anything. And by the time I got hooked on to Doctor Who books I became a voracious reader. I definitely want to make a collection of all these books and make a good library, but I am not sure cause these days no matter how hard I try or how much time or money I invest, things never seem to go my way...dame fortune seems to have deserted me :(

And as I sit back and cherish those days, I thank my stars and wonder if those days will ever come again when the best things and whatever I wanted in life used to come to me from the ether without any effort and ya free of cost.