May 2008
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My early tryst with books

Personal V2



My first book


Some of you suggested that I should write a book. And some of my friends tried to convince me that can become a great writer some day. Writing books is of course one of my ‘declared’ dreams. But let me tell you about the first book I wrote. All in the name of my early tryst with books.


In our childhood, I and my sister competed for everything. Both of us were fond of reading books and had collected many books and regular issues of magazines like Nandan, Champak, Achchhe Bhaiya, Parag, Suman Saurabh, Chandamama, and some comics. Reading comics was considered a sin, or better an indulgence, so we had very few of those.


And then we created our separate libraries! And what great managers we were! We numbered, ok, indexed each book, using smart coding. And we maintained a register, ok, database of all the books we had. And when we saw the tall almirah standing with its back to the wall – we dreamt of one day filling it with our books.


Then, a ‘breaking news’ happened: one of our friends became an entrepreneur. He commercially started a library in a small room outside his home. And from where to get so many books? He went into hiring instead of purchase policy. He invited people to rent their books to him, over which he would give them some paise every month. I think the rent of the books were 50 paise per book for 3 days. It was around 1987-88. We thought about it: but we couldn’t part with our books, we loved them so much. Sad that the library didn’t last long – you know, 80% of new start-ups fail :)


So the new magazines coming to our home every month would be deposited in our libraries alternately. And we fairly divided the Russian books that our uncle had brought from USSR. He was studying MBBS there and brought so many nice books – I remember Gulgula, Najanu chitrakaar kaise bana, Teen bhaalu and many more. Both of us were passionate about our books and it was contagious!


On every Republic Day, we had Anand Mela – Fun Fair in our school. Children became sales-personnel and consumers both. We used to get 20 rupees each. I remember, for three consecutive years I purchased only books out of it. Once I felt very tempted to have one laddoo, don’t know how I managed to eat that, but I am sure I won’t have consumed my funds which were dedicated to books and books only.


So now about my first book. We thought about the idea of launching our own magazine. Don’t know why sister was so lazy, because I think I was the pioneer. I created my own Champak. I created a cover page and drew a picture of a kid reading a book there, wearing a read cap. There were stories, some picture stories, some games, crosswords; it was a complete package. I got it sewed by mother and I was proud of it. The book still is in our home somewhere. Many of my childhood friends and cousins still remember that Champak as my first book. :)


Did you try something that cute in your childhood?


PS: Don’t conclude that I was a book worm :) I had tried my hands on many good business ventures. Will tell you about those some day.




Video is not related to the post :) Was just learning to post one; this is the first :)