The Magic Of A Story – Guest Post By Cupitonians

Many thanks to Cupitonians (http://cupitonians.wordpress.com/) for the below post. Anju has a wonderful blog which I would encourage you to visit.

 

 

My love for literature began when I was a toddler and my dad would enact Tom Sawyer or Oliver Twist before bedtime. I would squeal and jump about with glee, trying to imitate him every night. This was often accompanied by my English Teacher mom correcting my dad’s horrendous pronunciation of names (“It’s Shar-Lut not Char-lut-eh!”) and shaking her head in disbelief. Mum would tell different tales, lores from the various places she had lived as a travelling family, folk tales she’d heard from her friends from around the world, stories she ripped off from Chinua Achebe books. We grew up as a family with a lust for things that captured our imaginations.

 

It came as quite a surprise to my teachers that I was so passionate about my English Literature classes. Everyone else hated it and for good reason.  I studied in an all-girls convent school that was formerly a British hospital turned to a school for British-only students. Later, they opened the doors to Indians as well (I have since found out that my grandmother was among the first Indian students to set foot in that school). This brought in a lot of changes but the one thing that didn’t change was the syllabus. A huge part of our curriculum included all the famous British authors, including our beloved friend, William “Bard of Avon” Shakespeare.

 

While my classmates moaned and whined about how they wished “these damn writers would die” (“Erm, but, they are dead. That is sort of their claim to fame”) or the examination board would burn down and we would be free from these wretched exams, I would make jokes about opium eaters and how England is my soul country and how if you pricked us, would we not bleed? One particular teacher really resented me for correcting what I thought was her half-baked knowledge on my artists. And they were all MY writers, spinning stories just for me. To prove that my theories on her ignorance was right, for my final project where we were meant to write a story on based on a proverb, I copied word for a word a story from Nicholas Nickleby. She gave me a 100 on 100. Hence proved!

 

By the age of 15 (when I passed out from Indian high school) I had devoured every “masterpiece” that was on the top “to read” lists. I was reading Tolstoy & Nietzsche, James Joyce & Virginia Woolf, The Bronte Sisters & Jane Austen, Mark Twain & Ernest Hemingway. I came across a list of books that the school had banned, and being the rebel that I claimed I was, I read the Harry Potter books. When I went to University, I was studying (purely for the pleasure of it) American Literature, Indian Writing in English, Commonwealth Literature and well, I could go on. There also comes a certain arrogance from reading books such as the ones I was hooked on to – only a select group of “intellectual” people could read and discuss them. After a while, conversation with them would seem contrived because I wasn’t reading for form and the grammar. I was reading it for the story, for all the things unsaid and shining through in between the lines, for the places that only a great book could transport you to.  I do have a wanderlust to quench after all.

 

I still try to tick off book lists, that’s just me. I’m 21 down on the top 50 banned books and steadily making my way through the 100 greatest books of all time. But picking books isn’t as deliberate anymore. Sometimes I go to my favourite used book store and pick up a book whose title has caught my attention. Sometimes I open the front of these books and then buy them for the unique message someone had written to someone. If I have one flaw, it would be that I don’t like going by popular opinions, I need to form them myself. This has led me to losing 5 days of my life reading the Twilight series (which I have to say is a masterpiece compared to 50 shades, which I also read) and gaining so much more from reading the Hunger Games Trilogy. Like everything in life, there is a chance of a hit and miss but one thing’s for certain, there will always be the thrill of learning something, anything and the chance that you will come upon magic.

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “The Magic Of A Story – Guest Post By Cupitonians

  1. Pingback: Timey Wimey Stuff | This Labyrinth I Roam!

  2. intrepidmisadventurer

    That was so lovely and so Anju! “Sometimes I open the front of these books and then buy them for the unique message someone had written to someone.” Gosh, I’ve done that on occasion and somewhere in my most far-flung fantasies (read:saddo imagination), I imagine meeting both the giver and the recipient of that book! One read ” I hope that someday you’ll know why you’re so much more than just my daughter” ; it was inside a Collected Tales of Pushkin book! Russian=tragedy, so I was sold, twice!! 😀 I too recommend a visit over to Anju’s blog, she really writes from her heart! x

    Reply
  3. WillieSun

    I always have to make up my own mind as well which meant I also read Twilight (and hated myself for it). I didn’t read 50 Shades though, I actually had some dignity left at that point (sorry dear). In high school I was all about reading the classics and nobody would understand because they are old and boring and while Dickens and me will never be pals, I loved living with Jane Eyre and all those other’s for a while. Like you, I’ve gotten less picky with what I read, or maybe the pickyness just shifted, which ends up with me disliking one best-selling novel everyone and their freaking cousin seemed to love, including John Green. Oh John, how could you steer me so wrong?

    Reply
  4. heritageofjapan

    Totally agree with you about the difference between Twilight and 50 shades and Hunger Games. Twilight and HG, I have wanted to read over and over, like Austen novels, all those books one can read and enjoy for the delicious puns or beautiful symmetry in plots or well-designed endings, or like you say, all the stuff in between the lines, or just for the tenacity of their ideas.

    Reply
    1. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      Many thanks for your comment. This is, as you say a great guest post by Cupitonians. I must confess to not having read either 50 Shades or The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is certainly on my list of books to read but I am inclined to skip 50 Shades! Kind regards, Kevin

      Reply

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