The Mills and Boons Story of the Unexpected Kind!

NOTE: I know you all must be confused as to why I am posting old posts now? Well, these are posts from my erstwhile blog (sounds so royal) and I have had people read them last year. But to my new readers, these are fresh posts and I don’t want them to miss out on any book related posts 🙂 So I will be re-posting random blogs, which some of you might have already read.


Not very long ago, my friend visited a quaint little bookstore in Allahabad, UP. She mentioned that she was really surprised at the sight of the store selling all sorts of new and pre-owned books and that too at hefty discounts. Being a booklover bookhogger, she dashed straight towards it like a Zombie in search of brains or Vampire in search of fresh blood 😛 😉 :mrgreen:

She bought all those books that I promptly forgot the names…and talked to me animatedly over the phone like a little child clutching treasures in her hands. What she also added was this incident at the store, where a group of local chaps were circling around the store and obviously, they were not there for the books! Guess what, they ended up cornered in the “Mills and Boons section” in the store. 😛

X: Arey…yeh dekho…yeh badhiyaa books hain. Tumne padhi hai? (See the books? These are excellent. Have you read them? )

Y: Bilkul padhi hai. Badi achchi hoti hai. Main aksar khareedta rehta hu yehi se.(Of course I have! These are awesome. I keep on buying them from this store)

X: Haan…yeh wali “insert any M&B book name”. Yeh badhiya hai. (yes..this one..this is great!)

Y: Bilkul. Aur yeh bhi. (yes..and this one as well) picks up another one from the counter 

My friend and another girl were by this time making payments to the shopkeeper. Both of them glanced at one another and could barely suppress the fits of laughter. Because they knew that obviously, the guys had no clue about M&B and it was doubtful that whether they had read any other book as well!

Suddenly,  the other girl spoke up – loudly, so that the “booklovers” could hear her.

“Nice books na…? Girls read them a lot but the numbers are dwindling day by day!!”

To which, my friend replied (with a fictional answer made on the spot) “Yeah…my fifteen year old niece is a die-hard fan. I recently bought some for her.” (her niece is a toddler of barely two years 😛 )

The store keeper couldn’t resist laughing out loudly and the chaps…they quietly moved away from the M&B section and eventually fled the store. 😀

Things that people do for making an impression on strangers !! 😉

P.S. I do not want to state that M&B reading is a girly thing or that guys can’t read it, through the post. It is just to highlight what happens a lot around us in the name of “being cool” or to “impress” chicks 😛

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A Tale Of Two Brothers – R.K.Narayan And R.K.Laxman

NOTE: I know you all must be confused as to why I am posting old posts now? Well, these are posts from my erstwhile blog (sounds so royal) and I have had people read them last year. But to my new readers, these are fresh posts and I don’t want them to miss out on any book related posts 🙂 So I will be re-posting random blogs, which some of you might have already read.


Today, 10th October happens to be the birthday of one of the most prominent literary figures in India – R.K.NarayanI am pretty sure that if you grew up studying in an English medium school, you couldn’t  possibly have escaped his stories in the curriculum. Or at the very least, you couldn’t have missed watching Malgudi days on TV and going through stories so wonderfully penned by him.

I can also proudly say that Indian literature in English would be incomplete without his contributions. From what I have read of his works and remember, his prose was simple. I think he was a keen observer and this very fact reflected in his characters. Even a small character in his stories or novel, left an impression on you. His books were my constant companions and I borrowed and re-borrowed them from my school library, hiding them in between my textbooks and reading them voraciously. It was compulsory to write book reviews of any book borrowed and I gleefully penned my thoughts in immature style, thinking of stepping into his shoes one fine day! 😉

If what I am writing doesn’t make any sense to you, read his Malgudi Days and Swami and Friends. Highly recommended. This will give you the hang of his writing style and you can then proceed to pick up his other works from the nearest bookstore. Here is a video of Malgudi Days, which was aired on TV. The music gives me goosebumps because of the high nostalgia content!!!

The house that R.K.Narayan was born in, also saw another genius (albeit of a different kind) in his younger brother – R.K.Laxman. He will be celebrating his 93rd birthday on 24th October. This powerhouse of talent is one of the most popular cartoonists in India. Long back, I read an interview about him. I remember that he likes the Ambassador car and the crow is his favourite bird. Many of his doodles have crows and brilliantly portrayed at that! Read more about his fascination with the bird here. He also doodled illustrations for his brother’s books. Talk about collaboration 😀

Image Source: Wikipedia

Image Source: Wikipedia

His creation of The Common Man gave a glimpse of political satire and political humor or simply humor in general. A common feature in the national daily, the creation was also a part of a current tele-series. Here is the YouTube video of the series based on his Common Man.

The day I began reading the newspaper, I started with the Common Man cartoon ‘You Said It’ printed on the very first page. Only then did I proceed to read the headlines and the inner pages. At first, I couldn’t make the heads and tails of what is this guy trying to convey! Gradually, the satires started making sense. In brief, I have grown up with his creation and got my lessons in politics from the same. Because the topics depicted in them were all based on the current issues, my G.K. was also quite up to date. Thankyou Mr. Laxman! 🙂

Wishing these two geniuses a very happy birthday 🙂

Utterly Nonsensical Reasons Why I Refuse To Read Some Books After Page 1

NOTE: I know you all must be confused as to why I am posting old posts now? Well, these are posts from my erstwhile blog (sounds so royal) and I have had people read them last year. But to my new readers, these are fresh posts and I don’t want them to miss out on any book related posts 🙂 So I will be re-posting random blogs, which some of you might have already read.


Dear Writers Of Books I Wanted To Read But Couldn’t,

I am a reader. I want to be an voracious reader once more and I do have the potential in my bones you know. But I can’t. I can’t just go beyond page #1 even though I try hard to !!!! I will not blame you because I do understand. This is why, it is I who is on the wrong side of things. The reasons are nonsensical.

The names seem fake: Some authors (I won’t reveal) love naming their characters as if they are going to name their future brood of kids. Exotic names. Really really exotic names. Now it can be understood that some names do suit the character and the setting. But puhleeeseee….sometimes they just stick out like a purple tongue. Okay, if the name is short and fairly simple, I can still proceed a bit. But lengthy names with cropped idiotic shortened nicknames…I am sorry. I can’t relate to your story at all.

Beating round the bush: Of late, I tend to close a book the moment I find that the author is doing nothing but beating round the bush. Unnecessarily. I read this book in train while going to Chennai and because I had no other backup option to entertain me, I had to struggle through it. The author was just going on and on about things that kicked me into a different universe every now and then. Bumpy ride. Ouch!! Brain-hurt alert!!

Bad endings: I am kind by nature. I happen to finish some books if I really go beyond page 1 through 30. Only to find that the author has stabbed me at the back with his/her pen ruthlessly. How? By penning a bad ending. Not cliffhanger kind of endings you see. But confusing, meaningless endings. Sometimes the endings seem to be torn out of a totally different book! What hurts more is that I lose hope of reading another book of the same type in the future.

Desperate Indian writers: Taking a cue from one of the so called bestselling authors, some Indian writers have totally gone berserk in churning out “Bestsellers” or you can say, cheap novels that cost about a hundred INR or so. I occasionally pick one or two up out of curiosity and to check how similar they are in terms of plot line and language. They never disappoint me. These are the books, I gladly give away to Fans of such Literature. Here is an article that will speak more than I can in ten such write-ups.

Not doing justice to the genre: A crime novella that looks more like an Indian daily soap’s sob story. A horror story that tickles the funny bone on a dark and stormy night. A story about bromance without any signs of the same. A supernatural creature novel that gives you goosebumps and cold sweats by thinking how could this trash get published. Brr….

Parting note –  I have taught school kids of grade 3 and 4. They are better writers.