Sunday, February 22, 2009

Books that 'nostalgiate' my childhood

There will be some little things we want to keep for life just to ‘nostalgiate’ childhood. One such thing in my case is a small picture-story book. A collage of four of its pages is shown above. It was a Russian publication. This book had to be there almost each time when my mother fed food to me forcibly with the spoon. I can vividly remember how cranky I was at that very tender age when it came to food. Morsels of food dropped on its pages reminded that, like the other old heavy, big book with many pictures.

This small book was torn with repeated use, some careless handling by others and improper maintenance. After many years, just a page or two of it remained and there came a stage when they too vanished! Somehow my memory of this could never fade.

My elder daughter was repeating what I did – being cranky to get fed morsels of food and many methods had to be thought of, but showing books at that time usually was a wee bit easier and quicker for the mother.

A book exhibition arrived. We had gone there with the little kid. I was so happy to see that same book,
now translated to Kannada from Russian and English, still getting printed and in circulation in the children’s shelf! The child in me jumped out. Without a second thought, it was 'added to the cart'. It was a fresh replacement to the one that 'vanished'. I had lost hopes of seeing it again. Both daughters love this beautifully illustrated book and get immense pleasure looking at even now and they are not alone.

The other big book I told is still in good condition, but with some food-stained pages. I was also happy to see this century-old book with rare pictures of our country, titled ‘Glimpses of India’, reprinted and sold in another book exhibition. I never tire of turning their pages even now. Doing that, I backtrack in the time-machine.

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