Saturday, April 2, 2011

Entering The Third Stage...

I saw Ian McEwan's Innocents on a book shop. I was about to buy it but I thought I may have bought it. I was going to Goa anyway so I would check my unread books there.

I was in for a surprise. The book was very much there. The paper had turned slightly brown. There were even noticeable dog-ears. So, I had read the book and not remembered it at all! This was troubling - till I was a student, I read a lot more and remembered the books I read. Here was one of the few books I read in my working life and by my favourite author and I had no recollection of it. McEwan's books invariably have a twist which I always believed made them unforgettable. Come to think of it, the only books I clearly remember from my working life are Vikram Seth's Golden Gate and A Suitable Boy.

I was even more shocked to find Ian McEwan's A Child in Time, which I read a year or so ago and found mind-boggling. I presume that I had not read that book. I bought it, the pages turned brown and, presumably, I forgot about it. It would be even more disturbing to know that I had read that book decades ago.

I was struck by the 4 stages of life as per Hindu philosophy. After starting work and raising a family, that is entering the second phase, the mind seems to have been so absorbed in the existential issues that books, movies were forgotten.

As the children grew older and independent, I had to make the effort to minimize interfering in their life. May be offer advice but accept that it may be ignored. Hopefully I have succeeded to some extent. But on the positive side,  now I find that I can make time to read and enjoy it.

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