Of re-reading ‘Shantaram’

I remember setting my eyes on ‘Shantaram’ in the hands of one of my colleagues at Daly College, Indore and yearning to look at it closely. In fact, I feel an irresistible urge to ask ‘What are you reading?’ to every person who seems to be hugging a book!

Somehow, I lost track or I didn’t get any encouraging reply and being not one to buy a book, I left it at that.

Years later, it was at Just Books outlet at Kammanahalli in Bangalore that I actually got my hand to the book. https://justbooks.in/

I devoured the book eager to reach the end and unable to stop the urgency to know what happens to the protagonist. I like the book immensely and it stayed in some corner of my mind and I caught myself wistfully thinking about the book. By the way, why is there no film on this book?Or is it there?

Got to find that out. However at the university library I again run into Shantaram sitting pretty among a handful fiction and non-fiction for the not so technically inclined like me.

In fact, I never miss a chance to give my own list of 100 -200 books for the library to purchase happily adding poetry, philosophy, memoirs, biographies and everything and anything that is not even remotely technical.

I seriously think it is misuse of any library to simply stock up merely science and math without any regard to literature. Did they never hear that ‘art precedes science?’

So, there it is Shantaram, what a delightful reading it makes? The funny appellation ‘Linbaba’, the betel chewing, ever raucous Prabhakar and the green eyed Karla.

As I read I wonder at many places, did I notice this before? Oh! wow! what a beautiful narration, this is amazing and am also cracking up at jokes which I have forgotten so long after my first reading.

Re-reading a book is like navigating a known place and yet coming across something new and wondering how did it escape your attention before. A sense of wonderment fills you and there is always the comfort of familiarity.

Now, that reminds me there is a lot more to read again…like all of Charles Dickens, most of MT Vasudevan Nair, Benyamin, Tagore. Well as for Shakespeare and Kalidas my knowledge is mostly limited to the Paico Classics I read as a kid..hmmm. where is the time though? Where is the time?

There is much to read and much more to know

in the vast sea of knowledge

yet, caught between chores and EMIs

I know not where to go!

As for now…I back to the second chapter in Shantaram.. Will Linbaba get close to Karla? Will he be able to retain his freedom?

So, I got to get back to reading!

Which book are you reading again btw?