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Comics, Books, etc.

May 9, 2010 | Cicero

I was a big comics fan as a kid. Come summers, my friends and I would have this comics frenzy and pester our parents to buy them and then exchange them with each other. My first try at becoming an entrepreneur was trying to open a library to take advantage of this frenzy. I even had a name for it "Unic". Obviously I was not too good at spellings.
I still remember my first Tintin (The Shooting Star) and my first Asterix (Asterix in Britain). Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus, Snowy, Asterix, Obelix and Dogmatix all became my friends. I remember Dad reading comics with me while waiting for the office pool.
There was this time when I was diagnosed by the Pediatrician as suffering from severe vitamin deficiency. I was not having my greens. I hated them. I had to have a course of injections to make me all right. We used to call her "Dr. Lefty" because she was left handed. She made a deal with me. If I took my greens and all that my parents wanted me to eat, my Dad would buy me ten comics every month (or was it fortnight).I jumped at the opportunity. It was my favourite year.
Then one year I caught a bout of chicken pox!! Someone at school gave it to the entire class. I was quarantined in my room and could'nt even read comics. I had read almost all that my friends had (or wanted to give me at that time). I don't blame them. Chicken pox is a killjoy at that age.
My dad got me some periodicals for children to read. I did not want to touch them. All I wanted were my comics. But the boredom got to me and I started flipping through them and got hooked. Thus started my lifelong (so far) passion for the written word. Dad got me a Reader's Digest suscription and it got me waiting for my monthly suscriptions.
I read the books from my late grand fathers' libraries. Erle Stanley Gardner's books ('The Case of the Vagabond Virgin' was my first) from my maternal grandpa's collection and 'The Man who knew Kennedy' (Vance Bourjaily), Short Stories of Anton Chekov and 'The Cocktail party' (T.S. Eliot) from my paternal grandpa's collection. I admit I preferred my maternal grandpa's collection any day.  The other grandpa's collection was too dry for me. After all I was then only in my third (or fourth) grade.
Dad even got me a membership of the local British Council Library. Since I was not old enough, the membership was in his name.I would cycle over to the Library and read all sorts of books. You were entitled to take home four adult books, two children and four periodical at a time. That was when I started reading the Flight International and a lot of other British magazines. I was around thirteen.
It was in the British Library that I came across an author who was to turn into one of my all time favourite - Jeffrey Archer. The book was 'A matter of honour'. I also discovered the Borrowers, Churchill's history of the Second World War (I did not go beyond Vol. I & II;  I still retain bits and piecesof it ), Thatcher's autobiography (it was boring) , Mary Poppins (fell in love with Poppins), Peter Pan (started dreaming of Neverland), James Herriot (farm animals were never so much fun), Wodehouse (humour at its best), Swallows and Amazons (simply awesome) and Rudyard Kipling (Kim is my favourite).
By the time my classmates were reading Enid Blyton (Famous Five etc.), Three Investigators (Alfred Hitchcock), Nancy Drew (Carolyn Keene) and Hardy Boys (Franklin W. Dixon), I had finished them all and was reading Agatha Christie, Alistair Mclean, Desmond Bagley etc.
And by the time my friend 'B' had started reading Alistair Mclean (with a dictionary in one hand; he was very methodical, I learnt words more by intution and by studying usage) I had moved on to Grisham, Sheldon, Forsyth, Clancy, etc.
 Eventually I would discover Ayn Rand, Jane Austen, Leo Tolstoy, Gabriel García Márquez, Amartya Sen, Jung Chang, Rowling and so many more.
I did not however lose my love for comics and animation. Erle Stanley Gardner and his Perry Mason got me thinking about becoming an attorney but they could not cure me of my love for Homer, Tintin, Mickey Mouse et al. Books have remained my passion but comics has beem like my first love -  special!!

P.S.- To maintain the illusion that I was a golden child, I have refrained from speaking about my first Playboy, Letters to the Penthouse, Nancy Friday etc. I faintly remember that when I left law school, me and my roomies handed them out by the buckets!!  What a waste baby!!

image courtesy : Google Images

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2 comments:

lebblogs said...

Brilliant.You have to keep writing ... more and more often. Bravo !!

dragon ball - celi said...

I think it too.... It is good... this article is very good and brilliant.
byer

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