walk a-musing

Thursday, April 27, 2006

My World - Of Heroic Mice and Thai Curries

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"Hey V?.....How about going to the Kinokuniya book shop today?"
"Yayyy! Yippee! .......Will you buy me a book, Ma?"
"Mmm....Let's see...."
"Owww.....! I hate it when you say 'Let's see'!"

(Havn't I heard that before somewhere?....Oh yeah... that was ME many years ago.....complaining to MY mom..)

"V, look here, there is no rule that we HAVE to buy a book whenever we go to the book shop. It is good to just browse, you know! Sometimes we may get the same books in the library"
"I hate to just browse. I will only come, if we are buying books"

(I never said that to my mom! I was a nice, mild, undemanding.... oh alright, I just didn't dare!)

"See.... these shops even allow you to sit in a corner and read...., you can read some of the books there, make a note to look for some others in the library, and if there is a book we really like...."
"Right!...One book then?"
"Hey wait....! Let's see... I mean...Oh,ok!"

(Why on earth did I yield so easily?? hm....... C'mon, atleast he is not asking for video games, he is turning out to be a regular book lover.... and yeah....perhaps it will give me some time to browse for my books....)

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"C'mom Ma, the kids' section is out there!"
"OK.. V, you be there... I will go round the shop and come back to you.....V? Hello ? V?"
"Ma, look! Magic Tree House books! There is one I have not read.... can I buy it?"
"Wait wait, go through the shelves..... there must be other books you will like...."
"But I like this....!"
"Your school has loads of MTH books"
"Not this one, See? This is new!"
"V.... Listen! I am not prepared to spend $6 on a book you will finish in 15 minutes. You can wait for the school to get it. Now look for other books"
(Sulk sulk....)

("Hmm.... This book is interesting....'Galileo's daughter'....Is it a biography, or....")

"Ma....look at this.....! This is really a great book on soccer. There are so many books on soccer there, come let me show you....."
"YOU can look through them V, let me spend some time here..."
"Just come for a minute...., please.... see? Isnt this wonderful? Here is Thierry Henry! Guess who this is.....? It is Ronaldhino when he was a kid!!"
"Hmm, nice. Ok.... can I go now?"
"Can I buy this..? pleeeease??"
"Dont even think about it!! $45 for a book of pictures of soccer players! Most certainly not!"
(Sulk sulk....)

("Ahha.... this is interesting! Biography of Iris Murdoch...I wonder if it is the same as.....")

"Ma.... I finally found a book I really really want. Brian Jacques is a really good author! All the characters in his books are animals. There are mice, rats, shrews, badgers, ferrets, otters, moles, squirrels...it is really informative..."
"Dont you play the 'informative' card on me! If you want information, we have the animal encyclopaedia at home"
"Seriously, you learn a lot from this book! Infact I have been telling YOU to read 'Martin the Warrior'. It is the best...and Ma,this is JUST $25. Or.....is that a lot?"
"Ofcourse it is a lot!......But well....Ok, you can have it..... Now, will you leave me alone for just a while....?"
"Wowie!! Thanks Ma, sure, you go ahead!"
(Hug Hug)

("'Ancestors tale' by Richard Dawkins.....is it history? Where did I hear the name of Dawkins before?")

"Ahem....Ma......?"
"Now what ....V?
"I am really hungry......"

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The two of us sit at Delifrance, eating pizza baguette and sipping tea......with V happily reading about the adventures of Luke, Martin's father. I glance through the 'Vegetarian Thai Dishes' I bought for $4 from a display next to the cash counter. I suppose they keep them there just to comfort harassed moms.
Over the last few years, I have learnt all about the comparitive sizes of various Dinosaurs, the complex evolutionary paths of different Pokemons, the jinxes and hexes used by Harry Potter and other witches and wizards, the adventures of Martin the Warrior (mouse), the differences between Vampires and Vampaneze (ugh!), and more recently, the missions of the young MI6 agent Alex Rider.
The other day, a friend asked me,
"Anu, you like Amitav Ghosh's books, don't you? Have you read his recent one on Cambodia?"
Amitav.... Ghosh.....?? Er....Who is that?

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