Well, its been a while since I nurtured this secret admiration. I havent actually managed to grow it to be honest, but this is something like the typical "Gas trouble in the tummy".. it hardly managed to die off.. Yes I am talking about my reading fetish! After my school days I havent actually read much.. even then it was just a wild craze after all the fiction novels.. from Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, to the Hardy Boys to Nancy Drew.. just fiction..
This time again it was fiction.. I was supposedly taking a week off from work to hit the roads and chill out in "God's own country.. Kerala" for a week.. This time we had chosen Wayanad..! Just as me any my friend/philosopher/guide/brother/... Arvind decided to hit the roads.. I saw him meticulously pack a couple of books.. Arvind, I must admit is a voracious reader with a big vocabulary base.. so big that I even confuse him with the Oxford dictionary.. hehehehe (I hope he aint reading this.. if so.. sorry sir ji )
When I saw him pack a couple of books, I knew instantly this only meant one thing.. I would be left alone staring at nothing, coz when he dives into books, he normally doesnt pay attention to his surroundings.. So the mitigation plan for this almost sure calamity meant only one thing.. I also had to pick a book.. it was a difficult feeling.. I didnt know if I was even ready to read a book and even if I did, what would I read.. ! I knew zilch about books, authors, story lines, what type of book interests me.. nothing.. Afterall I have been away from books for "light years"..
With a lot of desperation, I searched through his rack, trying to find out what would I read.. there were so many books in his rack (even though he would say his collection is very small).. I was lost!
Then it happened.. as if by magic..that one book shone like a shining star from the entire lot.. it was Dan Brown's "The lost symbol".. with gleaming eyes I looked at it.. would the lost symbol kindle the lost habit of book reading..? I didnt know.
Atleast I had a consolation with one thing.. I knew Dan brown as a writer through his other book "Da Vince Code".. so it had to be ok types.. I was trying to mentally prepare myself.. The Masons.. Clues.. Robert Langdon.. they were all coming back to me... With a lot of excitement I said.. "That's what I wanna read Arvind.. can I take that book for the trip ?".. Arvind looked at me and with sarcastic smile he said.. "You aint gonna finish that book.. so dont you expect me to let you take that book back home to Chennai.. If you dont finish it, the book stays with me.. because I still havent read it..".. With a big ego on my head I shot back.."Not a problem Sir ji.. I will finish it before the trip itself".. Well I had done my math.. we had 4 days in wayanad and we didnt have too many places to go.. I had no plans to watch TV.. had nothing else to do.. and had tonnes of ciggies to keep me going through out the night, if I wanted.. So what could possibly stop me from finishing off this book I thought..
We reached wayanad and after settling down, I started reading the book.. desperately trying to avoid yawning.. (books have always had that effect on me...) Well, before I even began.. Arvind said.. "hey someone told me the first 40 odd pages, nothing happens.. and oh btw.. dont you dare tell me the story as well".. It was a bit warning for sure...
And so started my journey into the world of "The lost symbol".. over the course of the next two days... it started getting into me.. I was no longer worried about meanings of words (there were a lot of 'em which I didnt know what they meant..).. I was no longer worried about the historic importance or relevance of a lot of things that Dan Brown spoke about.. I had just one agenda.. What is the damn "Lost symbol"... it was a mad rush.. I no longer felt that I wanted to eat.. and I skipped taking the noon siesta's.. ciggies were being burnt like "candles during a power cut night"... The book turned out so interesting that I was not ready to let go of it any more.. Arvind felt pity on me and said.. "You know what.. take the book along with you read it and then return it to me..."...
But that's not what I remembered so much about this book.. more than the ending of the book.. more than the vivid descriptions of each of those monuments in Washington DC.. more than those nail biting action vividly being described.. you know what stuck into my head.. it was in the way in which Robert Langdon kept recollecting events... it got into me so much that.. when I began our return trip in Arvind's Honda City.. I was surprised that I was actually doing the same exact thing like Robert Langdon...
As the roads of wayanad curled and curved like a big snake slithering in a dense jungle.. I sat in the car..thinking what next was in store for me.. a vacation that was dawning to a close just as the sun was slowly peeping to us, from beyond the clouds.. as if to symbolize an irony.. and mock at me saying.. "Your end marks my beginning"... As we greeted zooming buses, and cars and crawling lorries.. I sat and wondered..
This was some of the lines of text that ran in my head !!
I truely had now revived my fetish for books !