A bibliophile’s love story


A bibliophile’s love story

A Bibliophile is a lover of books. Some books make a greater impression on you than the others. They change your lives for the better. This, of course, also depends also on the time in your life when the book crossed your path. [ Day 18 of “One Day, One Blog”]


I love books.

The love story started a long time ago. There is an incomparable joy in holding a new book and flipping through it pages; in rummaging through the stacks of second hand books in the hole-in-the-wall bookshop.

I do not recollect the name of the 1st book I read.It must have been Balarama — a children’s magazine which was 1st printed as a monthly in 1972. I must have read my 1st Balarama somewhere in 1984. Because, I still recollect seeing the announcement of Mayavi and eagerly awaiting for the 1st story of the little devil who helps his friend Radha and Raju from the iconic villians such as Dakini, Kuttoosan and Luttapi. Mayavi was “launched” into the young hearts in 1984.

From Balarama, I progressed to Amar Chitra Kathas. I read all these in Malayalam as my parents were very particular that I manage to learn Malayalam while growing up in Abu-Dhabi.

I then progressed to Famous Five, Nancy Drew, and met Archie and his friends along the way. Soon Asterix and Tintin made their way into my life.

The summer vacations I spent at my grandparent’s place introduced me to the amazing world of Bengali Literature. I read the translations of authors whose name I recollect no longer but the children playing in the mango orchards on hot summer days and the rich and bored Thakurains and their love affairs — all became part of my summer vacations.

I was only in the 6th or 7th grade when Dad bought me “The autobiography of Lee Iaccoca”. I guess he must have bought it for himself but it ended up with me.

Iaccoca: An Autobiography

If there is one person who is responsible for making “Business Management” my fall back option for a career, I credit that honor to Mr Iacocca. Looking back, I guess his flair for drama and storytelling laced with rather large amounts of gossip about his soured relationship with Henry Ford II was what attracted me, rather than any economics or management side of business. But he had piqued my curiosity for a life in sales early on.

Even today, I look back on the man with a certain amount of indulgence, like one would look at a favourite grandpa or uncle.

The Alchemist

We are all in an eternal quest for a treasure. Our treasures may vary — it could be making a millions bucks, building a palatial mansion, creating the next “Bhahubali”, bringing up successful children; but this quest keeps us on the move. It is the theme of this universally loved masterpiece.

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”, Paulo Coelho

Even those who have not read this masterpiece of Paulo Coelho would have seen this line on a T-Shirt or a motivational poster.

I re-read this book every few years. Because each time I read it, I realize it speaks to me in a different voice. But the love for Santiago, the shepherd boy who loves his freedom stays as strong as ever.

Harry Potter

Dear J.K Rowling — I love you.

(After all these years, I have nothing more to say. )

Many Masters, Many Lives

When this book made an appearance in my life, I was in a very dark place. I cannot say now whether I truly believe in the theories expounded here. But what I do know is that at that exact moment in life, it was the pain killer I needed to get through life.

Perhaps, one day I shall give past life regression a try. I sure would like to meet Dr Brian Weiss and say Thank you.

While past life trauma and treatment of the same solving issues in this life may not be easily digestible for all, the book is so well written that you will enjoy it through and through.

Lean IN

Up to the point where I read Lean IN, I used to pointedly ignore the fact that I was the only woman in the room — be it in the conference room where an International Sales Meeting was held in my previous company or in the cramped up, make-do huddle space in our startup. But Sheryl Sandberg made me realize that there is something inherently wrong in this picture.

I need to “Lean In” more not only for myself but for other women too. Talking about gender disparity is like kicking the hornet’s nest in most organizations. As Sheryl herself said, she can easily be perceived as being a rabble rouser for writing a book that could be called the feminist’s workplace manifesto. However she did it and I respect her for it.

To Kill a Mocking Bird

Childhood is the most beautiful part of life for most of us. The best period of my life was the summer vacations spent at my Grandparents’ place — where despite being part of a large brood, I was often left alone with my Grandma and Grandpa. The joy and freedom of those days is what I revisit each time I go through the story of Scout Finch in the sleepy town of Alabama.

This classic by Harper Lee has also been made into a movie. One of the few movies based on a book, which I have loved just as much.

There are so many more books that I have loved and have influenced me. But I selected these as they came in at certain turning points in life and turned my life around for the better.

What are the books that have influenced your life in a similar fashion?

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Friends, this is the Day 18 of my odyssey to write one blog EVERY DAY for the month of May 2017. “One Day, One Blog

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Ruby Peethambaran

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Ruby Peethambaran


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I have enjoyed reading and writing ever since I could read and write. I have been told that my words inspire and help people. That gives me the courage to write more.
If my words help you in any way to better your life, I will consider that a blessing.