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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Thanks Gutenberg.....

What makes Arbitmind happy ? Coffee with Feluda,Jatayu & Topshe? A walk near Usri River
along with Prof.Shanku? or discussing the science of deduction with Holmes himself?

Probably, a little bit of them all.
The adventures of Sherlock HolmesRobinson Crusoe, Feluda, Professor Shanku,Byomkesh & Teni-da(for the uninitiated Feluda & prof.Shanku are Satyajit Ray creations, Byomkesh is a Desi Holmes & Teni-da -- an ageless role model for all Bully College seniors---all  integral parts 
of the Arbitmind's teenage years). played a huge part in Arbitmind's formative years.
Every year during the bookfair Arbitmind would pick up a bagful of those in addition to the couple of
'Hardy Boys' & the 'Famous Fives'. (Loved the Oxford book stall for these). Paid customary visits to 
the 'Deb Sahitya Kutir' stall to pick up a set of Handa-BHoda & Nonte Fonte,(kept away from the 
Baantul stuff though)(Handa-BHoda & Nonte Fonte are cartoon characters)
The 'Ananda Publishers' made sure Arbitmind did not miss out on the Feluda & Professor Shanku.(Love the Three Leaved insignia of Ananda Publishers)
While the Hardy Boys & Famous Fives paperbacks were one time read material, what can get you hooked for a lifetime
are Holmes, Byomkesh, Feluda, Professor Shanku & Teni-da.
Even while reading them one could visualize 221b BAKER STREET, with its dimly lit rooms, Holmes sitting in 'that'
chair near the window expecting Dr.Watson or Lestrade. The clank of the hoofs as a carriage goes by & the smell of Holmes' tobacco 
permeating the air-- it was so very real. Years later, even now when Arbitmind goes back home & opens his personal library & takes
out a Holmes adventure its... deja vu. Now what do we owe this effect to? The character , the writer or the medium - the book?- Arbitmind
must admit, there's nothing more thrilling than holding a good book. A part of the tribute for this experience certainly belongs to
the medium itself-- the pages of which are replete with the exploits of these characters.
A decade ago one would find a young boy(without the spectacles) cuddling up on his bed ,under a quilt, in a lazy noon with a Holmes
or a Byomkesh, a packet of KrackJack biscuits by his side & taking a trip through the streets of Victorian London or the 
1930's Calcutta as a Holmes or Byomkesh Bakshi would go about their jobs. Each page flip woul take him deeper in their world-or his world...or the seperations blurred at some point??. .
Computers were not in vogue then, most of my folks had not heard about the
e-mail & the world had not shrunk itself inside wikipedia, but it was the sheer joy of reading that gave wings to young 
imagination. (In the hindsight Arbitmind would never like to visit London. He has a certain picture of London in his mind, derived from the Holmes' books...& that is one image he would not like to repaint.)

Which brings us to the question? Arbitmind adored the characters more or simply loved the entire experience--- the character+the language+the book+the atmosphere?
Of course the latter (literary pundits may call for Arbitmind's head but he is too mired in worldly pleasures to deny this) 

..& what exactly led Arbitmind to travel back in time ? A simple incident yesterday. Had stopped for a coffee & a cigarette 
near a coffee cum bookshop.
A teenager walked in -- bought a couple of Sherlock Holmes CD's (the sort that contains the adventures 
in PDF as well as the audio or a video adaptation of the adventures ).
Couldn't really stop wondering. Does a CD with PDFs loaded give the same feeling
as that book did? 
PDFs do no smell of freshly printed paper(pick up a new book at a store & smell--its a great feeling)...neither would cuddling up with a laptop is a feasible idea. 

Went back a decade in time & thats how it all came up...& please...poor little Arbitmind is not being judgemental & indulging in "our times were better"..sort of rishrash. 

This was more of a personal note of thanks to Gutenberg(

..& just to clarify Arbitmind is not a huge fan of

"Sir...15 rupees for the coffee"
I was disgusted. Thats a rip-off.

Hold on...2009 it ?

Hmmm....lets get back a call tomorrow morning. Need to be in office earlier than usual.

Came across a quote long long ago. 

"Human time does not turn in a circle; it runs ahead in a straight line. 
 happiness though.... is the longing for repetition."

1 comment:

Shovan said...

made me remind 'boi mela'
awesome writing :-) - Shovan