This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
– Dorothy Parker (1893 – 1967)
The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.
– Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)
My father always believed that books were man`s best friend. Perhaps that`s why over the years, I have been stealing ‘best friends` of many of my best friends and today own a library of my own.
Don`t give my photo on top of this page that look. That is, if you haven`t already spat on it yet.
Stealing books is not a crime. Have you ever heard of any body going to jail because he/she stole a book? It is only those who can`t keep a good book that go to jail (think account books, here).
From my kindergarten I have had a love for books.Â I even remember once stealing my uncle`s PlayBoy. I was in class three back then. I know a PlayBoy is a magazine – but you can`t blame a kindergarten kid for not knowing that…or can you?
In school, my love for books reached a frenzy and I started stealing from the Library. By the time I was in class five, I was the literary World`s ‘Jack the Ripper’. I was so good at the art that my principal once asked me to steal the book titled My Experiments with Truth because his son`s class assignment was on Gandhi Ji.
When I reached college, I was getting free lance assignments from parents who couldn`tÂ buy their kids costly, limited edition books. I was their book man in shining amour….somebody like a Superman. Just that I didn`t wear a cape around my neck…and didn`t wear my undies over my trousers.
My fame spread far and wide and it was around this time that I got a call from the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW – the CIA equivalent in India). They wanted me to steal a book written by Sonia Gandhi titled: How to spot an intelligent Sardar. You probably wonder: “When was this book published?” I totally understand, for the book was never made available for mere mortals.
Over the years, I have matured to be an excellent book stealer. Market forces have helped me graduate from books to manuscripts to screenplays. Last time, Karan Johar approached me and said he knew a young, talented man who had written a great story called Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. He wanted me to steal the screenplay and give it to him. I somehow messed up – I forgot to pick up the last five chapters (the climax). Don`t believe me? Try watching the movie with a straight face, after interval.Â
Getting back to the library I have at home, drop in sometime to take a look. One request though – don`t borrow my new books. Didn`t one famous dude once say: “Most new books are forgotten, especially by people who borrow it!”