A fresh start. A clean page. A renewed hope.

For me, 2004 has been an important year. It was the year when I stopped leading a life that I thought I should lead. Instead I started leading a life that I wanted to lead. It was also in this year that I finally grew comfortable with the idea of being a writer. Well, technically, I have been a writer for almost four years, but it was only in the year 2004 that I learnt to say 'I am a writer' without being self-conscious.

Now that the new year is about ten days old, let us get on with the usual stuff, like my recent pursuits.

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

Birthday gift from a friend, I let it sit on my bookshelf for almost two months. However, now that I have picked it up, it is unputdownable. The breezy writing of Durrell has simplicity to match that of Ruskin Bond. He interweaves the hilarious accounts of family eccentricities and the scenic descriptions of Corfu with expertise that matches that of James Harriot. I am a fan, already. Durrell uses the most enchanting words like rose-beetle man, strawberry-pink, sweet spring, daffodil-yellow, fireflies pageant, and woodcock winter in abundance. It is a book soaked in sunshine that you might want to read on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller

All my friends who smirk on hearing “reading a comic” in response to their nonchalant “what are you up to?”, should go and buy themselves a copy of 'The Dark Knight Returns', read it, and then, come back and tell me if comics are really for kids. This comic book rocks! Really rocks! It really takes a maestro to create a super hero out of a retired middle-aged man. All right, reading a bit too many comics has brought a lot of teen-slangs back into my vocabulary but that is okay. It was Miller's Dark Knight that brought Batman to the top of my favorite super hero list. Sorry Spidey, but at the moment, it is the intriguing, detached man in a flowing black cape for me.

Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales Penguin Classics

It is the most bewitching collection of Scottish tales. The tales of brownies, fairies, mermen, pixies, and kelpies are spellbinding and span from the magical world to the land of giants and monsters to the Victorian age. These tales contain many mesmerizing rhymes. Here is one of my favorite.

If ye call me imp or elf,
I warn you look well to yourself;
If ye call me fairy,
Ye'll find me quite contrary;
If good neighbour you call me,
Then good neighbour I will be;
But if you call me kindly sprite,
I'll be your friend both day and night.

***

Feed my curiosity
On an unrelated note, tell me you girls, how many of you own a copy of or have read John Gray's 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus'?

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