HOW I BECAME A READER

When I think back on how I became happily addicted to books and reading, I inevitably focus on three things: my mother, my first buy, and then came “the church of books”: my school’s library.

Mother

The whole credit of my reading habit (which turned out to be an enormous habit), or the gateway to the heaven of books was unlocked by my beautiful mother when I was a kid. I remember when she used to read to me from time to time and when I grew up, she would sit beside me and make me read and understand a lot of things. I can imagine that purely but titles we read together are vague in my memory. Somewhere I read recently that what we are taught in childhood which when becomes a habit, we don’t think twice before performing that action again. And yes, I would say I am always indebted to my mother for making me explore the world through words. Thanks Mom.

My First Buy

The next was when I bought my first book, Ghosts Don’t Eat Potato Chips by Debbie Dadey & Marcia Thornton Jones. I remember I was beaming for weeks whenever I looked at the cover, and the white pages (which now have turned yellow when I last saw it, and yes I still have it somewhere) holding it in my hands, and taking it wherever I went. I was in third standard and I don’t remember reading it wholly. But that book has been a motivation factor in my school days to buy more books.

The Church of Books: the School’s Library

I was never very popular in school, and I was an admittedly easy target for teasing (I didn’t have a very robust vocabulary of curse words, I was small and skinny, and naive). Suffice it to say, I didn’t like many of my classmates. When those kids would roam and run, and chatter and make fun, all day, I would sit in the library and read books. The place was heavenly. All started with a compulsory library class scheduled in between other classes twice a week. But then, thanks to those two lovely librarians, I was allowed to come and sit and read whenever and whatever I like. The combination of auburn colored wooden tables and the plastic chairs, all the sections divided alphabetically, the stale smell of yellow pages, and the dust covered hard bounded books which were not even moved from their positions in a decade. I read them. They were my classmates and taught me about love, relationships, marriage, artistic creation, despair, work, racism, sexism, injustice, freedom, and commitment. I could sit there experience what the books describer and I could travel and see so many beautiful things. Books were my refuge, my comfort, and my teachers.

SUBMISSIONS FOR THE MAGAZINE: GRAFFITI

GRAFFITI COMING SOON

Hello! Fellow Bloggers and Writers,

We (Graffiti Team) are coming out with a magazine by the end January 2014. Though Graffiti was just a college magazine, few years before, and is one of longest running magazine of NIT(National Institute of Technology) Kurukshetra, this time we are going online. We are not just a college magazine anymore and our intended audience is the whole world. We will be publishing not more than 300 copies in paperback for the internal  publicity through our college and nearby places but we are also publishing online. This will be our first online issue which will be free to download. Our magazine is intend to be literary. We are covering fiction, poem, comic strips, book and movie reviews. Also we have a column for  fan art including sketches and comic strips. Thus, we want submissions on the following topics:

  • Fan fiction
  • Fan-art
  • Comic Strips
  • Erotic Fiction

The word limit must not exceed 500 words.

All the submission must be e-mail to us at graffitimag@outlook.com having the title Submission and must contain author details and his blog link (if he wishes to). The content for the magazine can either be an attached .doc or .docx file and for fan-art .jpeg or .png. Or the content can directly be in e-mail. The deadline for submission is 27 January 2014 by midnight.

You will be given full copyright of your content. You will also be emailed a copy of the issue directly to your mailbox when the magazine is out.

You can also follow us for the latest updates on our FACEBOOK page at: https://www.facebook.com/grafthemag or search for Graffiti The Magazine

Thank you all!

Me and Graffiti Team

TOP TEN TUESDAY- TOP TEN AUTHORS OF 2013

With Top Ten Tuesday meme, I going to discuss Top Ten Authors I read in the year of 2013.

I’ll start with number 10MA JIAN, which I picked up randomly and was impressed by his style and the structure and organization of the context, though the length of the book, The Dark Road, was quite extensive. But in the end, I was glad I picked him up, and his style is unique and might seem satisfying to a reader if he reads Jian for the first time.

The number spot, I’ll give to GEORGE R. R. MARTIN, whose books I was trying to avoid from quite a long time but couldn’t resist anymore so I surrendered and I must say the series, A Song of Ice and Fire, is an impressive epic fantasy and I quite enjoyed them. The length of the books were quite a challenge and thus I had fun conquering it  and I ended up reading all five books which constitute the series till current date.

8th spot goes to PATRICK ROTHFUSS, recently read The Name of the Wind, which is more satisfying and his style and plot-writing is slightly better than George Martin, in some way, but hey, I am not saying Martin is bad or something. It was pretty hard for me to choose between the two and I decided Rothfuss should go above Martin as Martin disappoints me in the length of his books but hey, he is ‘good’. So is Rothfuss and both are great icons of the epic fantasies.

Number 7 is considered an iconic in the football (soccer) club I prefer to follow, many good players have worn that number during their time at the club, created history, and crafted memories which are unforgettable and became legendary. Such is PETER CUNNINGHAM, an award winning Irish novelist. His historical fiction, The Sea and Silence, introduced me to a new level of writing. The level is simple, unique and touches a reader’s head as well as his heart. It’s a powerful novel, I would say and I expect him that he continues to create such cherishing novels in future. That’s why I gave him number 7, he has the potential.

6th spot goes to, GEORGE ORWELL, for writing an exceptional novel based on truth which turned out to be very realistic in future. In our time, and the coming future, the idea his novel, 1984, implies is a fact, implemented today if not fully, well it will be someday. The way higher authorities want to control people, this novel describe it beautifully also with some thrill. Orwell, I salute you for writing such a novel.

Halfway through the list, and here comes the 5th author. IAN RANKIN, my all time favorite crime fiction writer in modern day writing. His style, character building and plot structure are all better than others of his own field. I won’t say their names, but when you read him and then you read them, I am sure you will be able to tell the difference. A Scottish, which, a few years back, I picked out randomly has turned to be one of my favorites. His words mysteriously provides me the motivation to explore more and more and to continue to read.

The number 4 is SCOTT F. FITZGERALD, one of the American classicist of the jazz age. He flatters me by the philosophy he is uses behind his words and the way he keeps his characters such the the reader will remain, no matter what, neutral. That feeling is something new and unique to experience which only Fitzgerald can give you.

Now comes the podium holders:

3rd is astonishing MARKUS ZUSAK, whose exceptional book, The Book Thief, made me crazy about him. The only thing I admire in his writing is the way he creates the plot. And after creating the plot he develops the character such that they will fit into the story like they are it’s own offspring’s. Hats off to the guy who stayed in New York Time Bestseller for 230 weeks. He’s one of those five out five ones.

2nd is FRANZ KAFKA, who he is just ‘Kafkaesque’. Powerful, knows how to drag the reader in a motion without letting the reader to realise, and leaves a reader, impressed. He is one of the best European Writers I have ever read. And believe me, he’s not over-rated.

And the 1st, I have to say, I admire her, her writing, her beautiful mind, she is SYLVIA PLATH. The first work I read of her was The Bell Jar, which was disappointing and I told myself, that’s not Sylvia Plath. Then I read many of her poems, and her Unabridged Journal which made me fell in love her. Through her poems I could  clearly see the way she used her imagination and how she settled down the words.I could read through her poems and imagine her writing which just feels like reading another book. I seriously felt in love with her writing, and had a fantasy of meeting upon and having a dinner.

So here completes my TOP TEN AUTHORS of 2013.  I am still exploring some new and reading those old classy writers. As this year is coming to a warm end, next year, I intend to read more and many new authors. So tell me, What are your favorite authors or any new author you read and he just blew your mind ?

A REAL WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

It’s been past two days since I have been at home. It’s like I may have over relaxed, may have over slept, or over eaten… ’cause I am not getting any words in my head. And also, I am not able to read not more than 100 pages a day of the book I am currently reading. I am depressed. Is this a writer’s block? Is it this how it is? It makes me feel sick. But then, why not reading is helping me. Is there also a reader’s block? If there is, then I am sure dead. I won’t be able to survive the dishonesty of daily life without reading. I will be doomed. Become a slave may be. How does it even happen? Does it happen when you stop reading for a month? Do you develop a dislike for the books, though at this point I hadn’t reached there and don’t want too, not in this life(It’s pity, I don’t get more than one. If I did, I would have tried reading all the books written in the world). I want to search my mind that why I am not able to focus on my reading, I guess, my mind is in the ice age mode. May be it’s just the weather. Winter, always a cruel mistress to me. Always.

Have you ever felt a reader’s block? Have you? If you have then what did you do to kick him in his balls? Surely I have tried the reading part but cannot concentrate. May be reading was my super power which now I have lost it. Bollocks. I wish I could believe in that kind of stuff. But it’s funny and horrible to say reader’s block, at the same time. I’ll go for another round. Happy Wordless Wednesday, after-all.

ALE OF BOSNIAN BAR ( A Poem)

ALE OF BOSNIAN BAR ( A Poem)

by Aman Mittal

Get drunk, live life
Have fun, love your wife

If you don’t have one, try somebody else’s

Welcome to the Bosnian Bar

Try some wine

Cheap beer makes you wild

Taste some whiskey

But don’t get too tipsy

Otherwise you’ll end up in trash
Smelling of puke and with no cash
With no clothes on, in the chilly wind of Bosnia

You might get pneumonia

Take care of your missus

She might get some kisses

If not you, then we’ll do

Welcome to the Bosnian Bar.

DARK HOUSE (A Poem)

Dark House

a poem 

by Aman Mittal

A  big dark house

I  made it myself

Brick by brick

From a corner to top

Hollow from inside

Narrow by side

Without an attic

Roof is flat

But a big cellar

At the bottom

Locked and shut

Connected with tunnels

Marrow and shallow

Left incomplete

To banish the escape

Not a soul to dwell

But to consist

Only my dead thoughts.

LIMERICK!

A limerick is five-line witty, humorous, or nonsense poem. Its development has been a curious one. Its place of origin is uncertain, although some scholars claim it is of Irish descent. It was Edward Lear who populated the limerick.

Edward Lear was a painter but also an illustrator, author and a poet. In his free time he entertained children with humorous, nonsense verses made of moonshine and magic. It was during this period Lear discovered the Limerick as a form of entertaining verse.

The form of limerick is of five lines. The first, second and the fifth are long. The third and fourth are short. The rhyme scheme is  A A B B A.

A verse:

There was an old man of Cape Horn

Who wished he had never been born;

So he sat on chair

Till he died of despair

That dolorous man of Cape Horn.

There are many verses beginning as a reader can refer Lear’s ‘A book of nonsense’.

“There was an old man from ….”

“There was a young lady of ….”

Scholars do claim grew fantastically as it embraced every topic, territory, temperament. It explored every variation of strangeness imaginable.

A verse on exploiting the language problem:

 

There was a young fellow named Hall,

Who fellin’  the spring in the fall,

‘T would have been a sad thing

If he’d died in the spring,

But he didn’t – he died in the fall.

 

Since then there have been some variations. Limerick was quite famous during the World War II among staff of Royal Dutch Navy.

For more, please refer Edward Lear’s ‘A book of Nonsense’.