…A while ago, Bala had gifted me Books 1, 2 & 3 of KM Munshi’s 7 volume magnum opus – Krishnavatara. It had been lying on my pile of unread books, but on a whim, I took the 2nd book along, to Meerut. The first book ends with death of Kamsa, and I wasn’t really keen on reading about Krishna’s childhood. It seemed like the death of Kamsa was a good place to start. I was reading Koestler’s Darkness at Noon when I got to Delhi on 26th. Took a while finishing it, in keeping with my 25 pages a day habit of the last 2 years. Great book, I highly recommend it. Written in 1941, it tells the story of a fallen communist leader in jail, for questioning the policies of the Party. Koestler gets into the head of a prisoner being interrogated, and at the same time expounds on the reasons communism was bound to fail. Amazingly prescient and also a very gripping read.
But getting back to Krishnavatara, last Saturday, at around 6 PM, I got around to finally picking up Krishnavatara-2. What can I say. Absolutely terrific. Many fascinating Krishna stories I had never read about earlier. KM Munshi makes Krishna seem more like Harry Potter, than a God. Krishna is a hero, but he is also mortal. What makes him a God is his absolute understanding of “Dharma”. (Btw, VJ, is Dharma in the Oxford dictionary too? :-))
For the first time in 5 years, I finished a book in one sitting. Well, almost. Had to break for dinner, but I finished the book at 1:30 AM.
Picked up 2 Naipaul books from the bookshop below yesterday. I have always been biased against Naipaul without ever reading anything he has written, and I don’t know why. Maybe it was something I read a long time ago, maybe some article, maybe some interview, maybe just uncalled for prejudgement, I don’t know. Somehow got myself to set aside that prejudice and ended up buying “A Bend in the River”, and “India: A Wounded Civilization”. Reading the latter now. I hope it turns out to be a satisfying read.
The good thing with bookshops in small towns is: you can make idle conversation with the proprietor. He seemed to know a fair bit about all the books, and we had a good conversation. He recommended I get this book “The 50 laws of Power”. I didn’t finally buy it, but maybe I will, one of these days.
Back to Delhi for the weekend. Meerut is a dirty place, and the food in Meerut’s really tiresome. I love the chaat (the alu tikki is simply magnificient), but you can’t live on that. Not even I can. Hopefully, Delhi will offer more palatable fare. Am hoping to check out a few places around here in the coming weekends. Hardwar,Rishikesh,Dehradun,Mussourie. It’s not much fun doing it without the right sort of company. But it’s better than sitting in a hotel room, I suppose.
Good night, folks. Have a good weekend. No matter that often work isn’t quite what one hopes it will be, but we are very lucky people. That’s the thought I will leave you with, right now.