Posts Tagged ‘reading’

More from K2, 190919

September 19, 2019

K2: Paru Sharma is actually Rama.
Me: Oh, really?
K2: Yes, he is Vishnu, born as Rama and then as Krishna.
Me (catching sight of the Amar Chitra Katha in his hand): Oh…that’s Parashurama!

He’s very annoyed that I am laughing. I am hoping that he doesn’t make the Buddha into a Buddhu…

August 4, 2014

I was looking at a Facebook post, made by Viju JB,of a very old photograph, of a couple, taken at their wedding. This suddenly put me in mind of an old English magazine that was very much a part of our lives…the

Illustrated Weekly of India.

The subject title is because we had a Marwari newspaper/magazine agent, who would come regularly to our home, bringing the latest magazines, and comics. (Something that just doesn’t happen any more.) I can still remember his face! He would arrive on his cycle, accept a cup of chai from my mother, and both of them would sit, and settle down for a nice session. Dell (and later, Gold Key) comics, Archie comics, Illustrated Classics comics, and Disney….my mother truly bought them by the dozen, and though the Reader’s Digest had started coming home by post, my mother (my father only provided; he was never home, all these were my mother’s interests!) would buy the magazines…I remember the starting of the “Junior Statesman” which was soon called “JS” and became the trendy youth magazine. (I also remember feeling out of touch with the very Westernized lifestyle it seemed to espouse.) Time, Life, National Geographic, Femina, Caravan, Filmfare…and of course, what our newsagent called the “Lusted Weekly”, and which most of us referred to as just the “Weekly”. It was a large-sized magazine (they all were!), and I went through each issue eagerly.

The wedding photos used to be a regular feature at the back of the issue, comprising many couples, looking deadpan into the camera in the wedding fashions of the day. (Almost no one had a smile on their faces.)

I also remember Nissim Ezekiel writing regularly, Kamala Das’ “My Life”, and Khushwant Singh’s editorial stamp on the magazine….I do remember that Pritish Nandy was the editor at a later stage…his daughter and mine were born on the same day, and the mothers shared a room at the Woodlands Nursing Home (Nov 2, 1978.)

I enjoyed Mario Miranda’s wonderful cartoons, and Raji Nimboopani and Moonswamy were good friends. I remember Raghu Rai’s excellent photographs….oh…the Lusted Weekly was certainly a wonderful part of our lives in those days. R K Laxman did a lot of work for the magazine, too; I never dreamed that years later (Dec 8, 1992) I would meet Laxman himself, in Bangalore, and have a long chat with him about his work and life.

I never did know why or how the closed down, but it did, and passed into history…the Wiki says it closed down in 1993….the Wiki says it started in 1880, so that’s more than a century of life!

My life was always full of excellent reading material, and I must say, the “Weekly” supplied a lot of it! Thank you, Viju, for making me look back….v

A wonderful part of my childhood…and life….

December 14, 2011

suddenly changed his Facebook userpic to that of a little devil, red, with cute little horns, a forked tail, and a trident….and that brought my “comic-book” past rushing back to my mind.

I grew up with a world of comics. Dell,Disney,Classics Illustrated,Gold Key, Harvey,…my mother bought them by the dozen, and had them bound (the whole collection is still there in Chennai!). Little Lotta, Spooky, Casper, Little Dot, Little Audrey, Baby Huey, Richie Rich, Wendy the Witch (Casper’s girlfriend!) and Hot Stuff (the little devil mentioned above) were all part of

Harvey Comics ;

You can see some of the images


Donald, Daisy, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and Unca Scrooge….the Beagle Boys, Mickey, Goofy, Pluto and the lesser-known characters like Horace Horsecollar, Clarabelle, and Gyro Gearloose (along with that little bulb man who was SO smart!) were all part of the world of Disney. I particularly loved the work of

Carl Barks

which was very witty and gripping.

Classics Illustrated introduced me to so many works of literature, that I read in the original later. The artwork was always brilliant!

We also got the British weekly comic magazines, The Topper, The Dandy, and The Beano. Some of the characters (a Dennis the Menace different from Hank Ketcham’s creation, a Beryl the Peril, a Julius Cheeser, and Mickey the Monkey…) were superb. Earlier, I also remember comics for younger children which had characters like Sooty, and Bill and Ben, the Flowerpot Men…I can’t remember the name of those comics.

Oh…these comics…were just wonderful. Off I would go, into a world of fantasy, adventure and laughter, while the new comics lasted…and I would often read the old ones. I realize, now, how high the quality of work was, consistently!

Of course, then the Archie comics also came along and I also loved Hagar the Horrible, B.C., Garfield, some (not all) of Charles Schultz, Blondie, Mutt’n’Jeff, and the magical, superb Calvin and Hobbes…

Amar Chitra Katha was also a major part of our reading, and introduced us to Indian mythology and folklore. Tinkle was a regular part of my daughter’s childhood, and she enjoyed contributing, too. Suppandi and Kalia and the rest kept her childish fancies happy….

Comics have always formed a great part of my life…and I salute the extremely talented artists that have enriched my life and imagination. I may not read the depressing headlines in the morning paper, but I never fail to read the comics!

Thank you, Ga, for the happy trip down memory lane.

Morning newspapers

August 26, 2011

This was brought on by a discussion on Facebook, after I’d posted an observation, that the front page headlines of newspapers remain the same all the time… Vikram Hiresavi suggested I begin to get along without newspapers.

But I still like my newspaper mornings!

When I am in the US, I do get along, for the most part, without the daily newspaper…I don’t find the need for them. However, even there, on most mornings, I buy the St.Louis Post-Dispatch, as I like to scan through it for the local news (that’s how I learn of many events…and, for example, I learnt that there were newborn Cheetah cubs in St.Louis Zoo), and I like to get myself my usual tiny cup of coffee and browse.

In Bangalore, of course, newspapers form a big part of our mornings.KM wants several financial papers, so we get the Deccan Herald, the Hindu, the Business Standard, and the Business Line. Sometimes I get the Economic Times, too, and on Sundays, the Times of India as well.

I come back from my walk between 6.30 and 6.45 am, and the Wait begins.

No matter how many times I tell my newsagent that I want the newspapers delivered early, it’s past 7am, and usually 7.15am, by the time I hear the sound of the newspapers. The sound of the newspapers?….our news delivery boy ( Chinnu, a young man who goes to college after this morning job is done) wants to save time, and to avoid another scolding for being late, by sliding them down the passage leading to our apartment, and vanishing down the lift or the stairs before I can come out!

When we moved into our apartment, the previous owners had used a longish slab of granite for something else. I had that made into a kind of bench, and I’ve put it on our balcony. The newspapers are placed on this, and I get KM’s tray of tea ( This KM Tea Ceremony requires a post of its own. Nothing other than Darjeeling tea will do, and it has to be brewed specially in a slightly warmed teapot, and served on a tray with a cup and saucer, and a strainer) and my tiny cup of filter kaapi (I’ve become used to the “baitu kaapi” amounts in the Darshinis…I love the small amount of piping hot coffee, that I can have without worrying about calories or caffeine.) Sometimes, I cut up fruits and we have a platter of mixed fruit, too.

You’d think that when we have so many newpspapers, we’d have got into an amicable arrangement about who reads what first. Oh no. BOTH of us want to read the Deccan Herald first, for some unfathomable reason. However, we generally compromise. I am the one who likes to read the various supplements of the newspapers…KM is the one who likes to read the weightier columns, the opinions and, of course the financial news. Sometimes, we compare notes after reading one newspaper, and it’s as if each of us has read a different newspaper, so mutually exclusive is the content that each of us reads!

Of course, one of the attractions in the newspapers, for me, is the cryptic crossword. I love doing the Economic Times and the Deccan Herald ones (the Deccan Herald Saturday crossword is like a treat that I look forward to every week…aha, tomorrow is Saturday!) and though I don’t like the Business Standard crossword too much, and actively detest the Hindu one, I’ll stoop to doing them, too, if I don’t have a choice (if the Deccan Herald is not delivered, for example).

Along with the Newspaper Ceremony, I also have the TV on. I say this because I don’t always WATCH the TV, mostly I just listen to the old songs…7am to 8 am, it’s Hindi movie songs, and then it’s Tamizh classic movie songs. At 8.45 or 9am, I also tune into Madras “A” and listen to Arangisai, which features Carnatic music. On Sundays, if I am home (it’s usually my nature trail day) I listen to Rangoli on DD1…again, old Hindi songs.

The newspaper time is often punctuated by a Skype session with KTB and her parents in distant St.Louis. Since MS took over Skype, the voice quality has become dreadful, so we tend to use Google video chat instead. It’s a delight to watch Miss Hurricane Hair at her dinner, playing with her toys, or showing us her books…and to speak with the several friends who drop in during the evening.

At about 9am, the NC comes to a close, and KM goes off for his shower and preparations for the drive to Hosur, and I begin to think of the kitchen chores, and my work for the day….I fold the newspapers neatly and KM takes some to Hosur with him, and I stack the others in a cupboard, to be given to the old-newspaper shop (the money is donated to a charity at the end of the month.)

So it’s going to be a long while before I give up the newspaper habit!

A word like “heard” is for the birds…

February 18, 2009

From “The Language Instinct” by Steven Pinker

Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks beard and sounds like bird,
And dead: it’s said like bed, not bead–
For goodness’ sake don’t call it “deed”!
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt).

Thanks to anushsh for lending me this tough-to-read but interesting book!


October 5, 2007

I joined something called Shelfari and had added a few books, including R K Narayan’s Swami and Friends , which is one of my all-time favourites. So today I tried to add The Guide to my list and lo and behold (or rather, low and don’t behold), it wasn’t listed at all!

HUH…that’s the last of Shelfari!