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?


4 responses to “Of re-reading ‘Shantaram’”

  1. Slow reader here (even of blogs). But I’m glad I read this. Especially what you say about the pleasures of re-reading. Sadly I never experienced that. My mother did though, and I was always a bit surprised when she would say, after finishing a certain book, “I have to take it back to the library, but I can’t wait to check it out again.”

    Now there are a few poets whom I could read almost every day, or at least selected poems of theirs — my selections, not theirs. Some of yours would be in that category if only I had a printer, or took the time to go to the library and print them. But even then I’d probably lose track of them.

    Long way to say, again, I enjoyed this. Still reading, but more and more slowly, less and less widely. Nice visiting. Oh, and I’m going to look up Shantaram at our library.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Albert
      I really enjoy reading what you have to say of what I write and delighted to know you count some of my poems as worthy of being printed. But honestly it hurts me when I pick up hints about your going slow(aging?). Oh! Please don’t say that. Our time on this beautiful planet is not ours to design but I believe it is important to think that we are here for the long haul and from what you told me earlier, you are very young… hope you know that 18-65 is young and you are middle aged, see that! Cheers! Take Care! 🙂


      • I like your approach, Adhy. Sreelekha’s too, if she’s listening.

        P.S.. I found Shantaram in our library. (Only one copy there, but we’ll read; binding taped, torn pages, some crumpled and coffee stained: wonderful!) But it’s looong. Not a problem though. I skimmed a few sections and saw that the style is quite comfortable, what Norman Mailer said is a sign of good writing: if you are able to get right into the story and soon forget that you are reading.. I’ll let you know how it goes.

        Liked by 1 person

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