Friday, 22 February 2013

Something happened

Not very unlike what happens to Bob Slocum in Joseph Heller’s namesake book. Little events not connected to each other…a global conference, slight indisposition, dental treatment, procrastination, work overload, print deadlines, lethargy…enough to drive me round the bend and question my sanity. Before I knew it, I had stayed away from my blog for a week though not from other blogs. Frankly, it felt good. 

I used the self-imposed and self-inflicted diversions doing a little of this and that. I read very little during this period. I am still ploughing through The Iron Tiger by Jack Higgins and Transplant by Frank G. Slaughter, authors I'd usually finish reading in a couple of days. The Great White Army by Max Pemberton remains on the backburner. Pemberton is a very good writer and his books deserve to be read and reviewed. They are available on the internet.

At this point reading a book seems like an uphill walk. I have had more luck with comic-books.

I bought and read part of a western comic-book Wes Slade: The Living Dead, written and designed by George Stokes who initially drew it as a comic strip for Britain’s Sunday Express. While the black-and-white illustrations are fantastic, the print in the speech bubbles is tiny and hard on the eyes.

I also purchased a handful of Amar Chitra Katha (Immortal Picture Stories), India’s indigenous and largest-selling comics that retell stories from Indian history, epics and mythology, and fables and folklore. I picked up The Story of the Freedom Struggle that affords a chronological look at India’s independence movement from the time the British occupied the country in early 19th century to its independence on August 15, 1947. Although I know most of the famous and the not-so-famous freedom fighters of India, thanks to my school history textbooks, this particular comic-book threw up several unsung heroes and their selfless acts of valour.

The other three ACK comics I bought were Tales from the Upanishads: Tales of Peace and Wisdom, the ancient Hindu scriptures; Sea Route to India: In Quest of the Ultimate Destination, which explores the trade expeditions to India by European explorers like Bartholomew Diaz, Christopher Columbus, and Vasco da Gama; and Marie and Pierre Curie: A Passion for Science that requires no explanation.

The rest of the week was spent reading a couple of spiritual books and listening to spiritual music, something that I have been doing off and on for years. A little soul-searching always helps.

I hope to get back to active blogging this weekend, hopefully, with a review of The Hessian by Howard Fast, fiction steeped in history, and respond to generous comments left under my posts. For now I have a few more comics to read.


8 comments:

  1. Always important to keep your mind centered Prashant and like you, I sometimes find that the best way to do that is break with routine and undertake a lot of smaller activities instead - really looking forward to your review of the Howard Fast, when you're good and ready chum.

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    1. Sergio, keeping the mind centered and focused is something I've been working on for years now. A "break with routine" always presents itself with a new set of things to do and I have been toying with the idea of drawing and painting again. It used to be my childhood and teen hobby. I hope to post a review of the Howard Fast book tomorrow, Sunday, and look forward to your views.

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  2. Sea Route to India seems like a new title. Haven't seen it anywhere. There was a time when we would tick the titles of the ACK read. Perhaps if I had an ACK in my hands, I'd do the same today also.

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    1. Neer, I think SEA ROUTE TO INDIA is one of ACK's last titles though I don't think it's new in the way you mean it. ACK is printing new titles but I don't like the artworks anymore. They seem too childish, like TINKLE comics. I like their theme-based collections, 5-in-1 on warriors, for instance, and that sort of thing. A nice gift for someone. There was, indeed, a time when my father and I had the entire ACK collection.

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  3. Prashant, I like this post about how you are regrouping and regenerating. This has been a slow reading and blogging week for me, too, although more related to heavy load at work and other activities. And some minor illness. When I have a hard time reading a book, I tend to turn to books and magazines about mysteries, reading shorter articles about books or authors. I wish I could learn to enjoy short stories. Will be glad to see you back with more entertaining posts.

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    1. Tracy, I have been trying to get books out of the way faster than I usually manage to but I can't seem to read more than four or five books a month. At that rate I don't expect my pile of TBR books to decline soon. I used to read a lot of print magazines before but now I go through them online, it saves valuable time, paper, and money. I'd resolved to read more short stories this year and I'm hoping to read at least a hundred by New Year's eve.

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  4. Those Indian comics look pretty interesting, Prashant! Kudos to you for taking a little time out from blogging. serious reading, etc. It always pays to take a little sabbatical to recharge the batteries and break out of a routine. Heaven knows I've had more than my share of days where noting I pull off my shelf seems appealing. It's a smart man who knows when to pull back and regroup.

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    1. Many thanks, Jeff. I don't "pull back and regroup" as often as I should but I hope to take short breaks (from blogging) more often than I do now. Blogging was becoming an obssession and it was preventing me from doing some of the other things I used to enjoy doing, reading comics often and drawing and painting. Indian comics are, historically, very interesting though the artworks could do with more finesse.

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