Okay so what was the first book you ever read?
Or more like, how was the first book you ever read? What was the first piece of literature that really inspired you or intrigued you in a certain way? Or you could even tell me if it was forced upon you, like as in a compulsory literary reading in those excruciatingly tedious English classes? Or it could be a Hindi book or a Gujarati book or a Kannada book, you know, any piece of fictional writing from the works of Leo Tolstoy to Chetan Bhagat (I don’t really mind if it’s Chetan Bhagat. I mean I admit we were young and foolish and inexperienced), from J.K. Rowling to Rabindranath Tagore, it could be anybody.
Tell me the circumstances or the issues you faced reading your first book, whether it was magical or plain boring? Were you fascinated or well, felt absolutely nothing at all. Even do a review of it if you want to, you could criticize it or regard it as the most exemplary piece of literature that you ever witnessed and had changed your life for the better.( Don’t say this about ‘2 states’, I mean please guys!) Even tell me how has your journey been after that so far? What was the next book you read after that? (In case you remember) Which other books have you read after that, that have intrigued you and inspired you the same way your first book did?
Or you could simply not get into the details at all. Just tell me which was the first book you read. But I feel it’d be really fun if you got into the tiny details, kinda like a visit down the memory lane. This is something you could do taking some time out. I mean it’s not an assignment guys, nobody’s holding you at gunpoint, I know some of us have/are studied/studying in Engineering colleges and would regard this as another one of those 293832 assignments that you have done or would be doing throughout the entirety of your college life. Trust me, it’s not. It could be totally mundane, mumbo-jumbo flurry of words that might make no sense at all. You could rant, curse, and slang around, throwing LOL, OMFG, ROFLTOTALLYDOESNTMAKESENSE here and there. It could be a beautifully crafted piece, stating the book’s aesthetics, moral values and insightful writing, you know, like actual critics.
Now as far as I could remember, and trust me I remember quite comprehensibly, the first book I read was in class 7th. Now I don’t know if it’s too early or too late, I don’t know if there’s an age limit to find aesthetic beauty in a certain artform, but there was something very fascinating about Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’. Now I didn’t actually read the book by Dickens’. I read a detailed illustration in simpler words. I mean I don’t know if that counts as a book. I really don’t care, you knwo. I told you it could be the most mundane of absurdities. To me, it was the first novella I ever read and I felt real proud doing that.
The answer to why I read the book could be simply put in one line as ‘because of ‘The Flintstones’.
Remember ‘The Flintstones’, guys? Fred, Barney, Velma. Bedrock. “YABBA-DABBAD-DOO!” That pink Dino. That weird powerful kid who went *Bam Bam Bam Bam Bam*. The way they drove a car with their feet, the way they bowled with rocks, the way they saw Drive-in cine…..okay I’m getting a little distracted here. I do that. It’s horrifying. Don’t even ask how I round up during my lectures. Once I was actually laughing in class while a terrifyingly gloomy poetry about death was being recited. See, here I go again.
Okay now I’ll come to the point. The reason ‘The Flintstones’ were the main influence for me reading my first book was because they once did a Christmas special short film. Their own adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’. Does anybody remember that? Fred played Scrooge in a play, and how the play actually affected him in his own life? I mean, come on guys? Nobody?
Okay fine I won’t go into the details of that. The post is getting too long anyways. But it was a very good TV movie. ‘A Flintstones Christmas Carol’. I think its on youtube, or can be downloaded from ‘you know where’. Do watch it.
Anyways, so I was so intrigued by the film and the story, that I had to had to read the original story.( Yes. Had to had to) And so I went to the school library, the short, plump, 12 year old version of me. Not that there’s much difference now…See I got wayward again.
Yeah so I went to the librarian and said “Charles Dickens ka book kaha hai?” (Where are the books by Charles Dickens?) And then she looked down upon me and went “Charles Dickens ka book padhega?”( You’re going to read a Charles Dickens book?) To which I nodded like ‘Yeah bitch! That’s why I asked for it. I mean I don’t generally use books by specific authors to have ‘Bhel Puri’ on their pages. (Obviously I didn’t say that guys. I was like 12. I mean, come on).
So anyways I took the book and sat there for the lunch hour. It was like a 200 page book, with large texts, hard binding and nice, catchy drawing on the front cover. I only managed to read a few pages and then kept the book and went back to class after the lunch time was over.(No. We weren’t allowed to bunk classes during those times.) So then I came back the next day during lunch time, and the day after that, and the day after that, after a sudden sense of enlightenment fell upon the librarian who came up to me and said “You know you could issue this book and take it home for a week.” And then I looked at her and thought ‘You know you could have told me this the first time. It could’ve saved me a couple of lunch hours.’ (Again, I didn’t say it guys *sigh*) And so well I issued the book and took it home and spent the rest of the hours of the day reading the book.
And I was so much in love, man. Obviously I had like a vague idea of the plot after watching the Flintstones movie, but still reading the very original version of it, READING in particular, had me in, you know, exhilaration about it. And the whole plot was so touching, so moving. The grumpy, cunning old character of Scrooge, “a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner!”, who thinks of Christmas as ‘humbug’, and who exploits his poor little clerk, who is such a nice fellow and has such high amount of family problems, but in the end still wishes well for his boss. How Scrooge gets visited by the ghost of his old partner on the night of Christmas and how the three Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future show him the three stages of his life. How neglected he felt as a kid, his relation with his sister, how people talk about him behind his back, his clerk’s son with an amputated leg and the grim future he has in store for him. How this leads to his change of heart. And at the end of it, I was all *sniff, sniff* (Okay this was a little emasculating).
But for me, this book was what then inculcated my love for further reading. I went on to read Charles Dickens’ ‘Oliver Twist’, ‘David Copperfield’, Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ and how miserably did I cry when they turned them into such filthy, shining, teen movie creatures. I then went on with the ‘Harry Potter’ books and well, I don’t even know how many books I’ve read since then. For me, my first read was like a certain sense of illumination you know. It was like being given a key to the vault behind which treasures of gold and silver and rubies lay waiting for somebody to grab hold of them.
You guys could tell me your experience with your first book too. I think we have already discussed that in detail. There’s like a 2000 word limit on the comments, you know you could send them to me via Facebook, emails (You could ask for my email in case you don’t have it), you could even text me. If you’re a fellow blogger, you could send me the link to the post and I’ll reblog it. I mean we’re standing over the plethora of communicative means guys. And you’re not bound by anything. You know you could shelve this task for eternities and then one day when we’re all somewhere in our lives, you in your wheelchair in an oldage home, I in my mansion smoking a cigar, maybe you could then remember this post and text me back like “Hey do you remember the post you asked us to do?” and to which I’d say “Yes. Yes, indeed I do” (Well only if I’m not suffering from Alzheimer’s, but well, I mean you get the drill right?)