Om Books-eh Namah!

I had borrowed the books, Immortals of Meluha (IOM) and its Sequel- The Secret of the Nagas, from my sister about 3 months back and

A pic couple of years back
A pic couple of years back
it was lying idle until one week ago. For some reason, I couldn’t will myself to read the books even when my friends at work recommended when they were released.

Vyas saw these books asking to be read and started reading the first part- The Immortals of Meluha, and did not move his butt till he finished it. The moment he put the book down, he came up to me and said, “Amma, you are missing something. Am serious. Do you know….?” and the barrage of questions never end. He kept giving me snippets and kept quizzing me about things which I had no clue of. He is at a phase where he thinks, quizzing random people (which includes his amma, her friends from office and his partner in crime- Abi aunty – more on that later!) is his birth right. It gets to a point where I sincerely wish I could dismantle my ears or seal the ear-drums for the duration of the quiz. Which means, the entire waking hours at home, when he is not busy reading something else or watching the LOTR series back-to-back!

The Daddy V is convinced that there are now surely two nut-cases, damaged beyond economical repairs. He is seriously considering banning a big chunk of the mommy-sonny duo’s vocabulary that is largely interspersed with names of places, people, spells, charms, words, worlds, gods, demi-gods, greek-gods, roman-gods, indian-gods, nepalese-gods, of hobbit-holes, Minas Tirith, and the Saurons, Sarumans, and Voldemorts:) It is common to hear Vyas say, “He is such a Gollum”, about a classmate (he is being way too critical btw).

I was a little apprehensive about his reading IOM because I was not sure if it was adult literature. Checked with a couple of friends who had read the book and they didn’t see any harm in his reading them. So, when he finished the 1st part, he picked the next volume and took it to school. His school lets the kids bring books or pick one (to read during a free hour) from the class library where the kids pool-in the books every term and take them back at the end of the term. His English teacher saw this fellow reading The secret of the Nagas, in the corridor during a break and she seems to have told him that it was not a book for the kids his age. The fellow tried persisting saying he had already finished IOM, and couldn’t wait to finish this one.. Apparently, the teacher was firm and offered to share some of her books with him instead:) The fellow resigned to stuffing the book back into his bag:)

The moment he reached home, he called me at work and asked why he was not supposed to read the book. How would I know? So I promised I would read and let him know if it was OK for him to continue, and that, if his teacher has told him, it must be for a reason. I still promised to validate the teacher’s concern and so I HAD TO read the trilogy. I read both the books last week and I must admit that am awaiting the 3rd part. I remember reading a lot of reviews last year- mostly in favour. As a reader, though I found the books to be page-turners, I feel that the style of narration is too contemporary and lacks the ‘awe’ element or the grandeur I’d love to associate with events that are said to be at least 4000 years old!

Though the book doesn’t even border on eroticism, the courtship of Parvatheswar and Anandamayi is a bit of a stretch for kids Vyas’s age. I’m NOT worried it will corrupt him. Our movies or song sequences leave nothing to the imagination. The trouble is, he might not exercise restraint or apply discretion when discussing the book with his friends. I don’t want another of those ‘puberty’ episodes πŸ˜‰

Now, my next worry is, how to keep the fellow off MY books. This guy has quite a lot on his platter but cannot keep his nose off mine. Always wanting to know what am reading, if he can read, what it is about, how many pages I have read, why am not reading anything…. Shabbaaaa!

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17 thoughts on “Om Books-eh Namah!

  1. Vidya, I just finished reading those 2 books about a month back, even though it was with me for over 8 months now….and I loved it would be an understatement. Me too waiting for O of V !!! πŸ™‚

    Reg Vyaas reading books, just let him…if he comes up with any doubts just answer him honestly !!! They need to know things some day or other…the prob comes when his friends are childish or too shy to talk about things !! We need to teach children to take the good things from the book.

  2. My daughter read Immortals of Meuha in one sitting when she was seven (She will be nine next month). She didn’t understand some parts of it, but seemed to enjoy what she did.

    Nagas does not have even the minimal “adult” content that immortals had (or so I remember – it’s been way too long since I read it). So it’s fine for Vyaas to read it. In fact, a lot of my folks were scandalized that we let V read IoM, but then, like you, I had already had the “birds bee” talk with the kid (yeah, at seven….I’d rather she learned the correct facts from me early than get all kinds of wrong information that goes on in school, and FYI, kids discuss stuff like this as early as fourth standard these days), and so, nothing in IoM really scandalised her.

    Good for you and Vyaas to share books. V and I fight over who Snape – I have a crush on him, and V hates him.

    And…”He is such a gollum” is so hilarious.

  3. If he has already read IoM, Secret of Nagas is absolutely ok right? Does not have any such parts πŸ™‚ I am in awe of him for all the reading he does … and luv that pic πŸ™‚

  4. c’mon vidya, be a sport and share ur books with vyas. A big hug to vyas for reading books . That pic truly shows his love for books!

  5. You and Vasu should be gifted to get a son like him. Please develop his reading habit. Go to google and try to reply all his questions. Those you do not know admit to him and explain later. See to that he reads the right books………..this includes you too.

    Don’t go by other’s review. Read the right books. If he wants to know about Gods, let him read Upanishads, Bhagavath Gita or only similar books. The kids versions are also available.

    Pls. do not spoil him by giving books of the useless new age writers.

    All The Best. God Bless him with More Knowledge

  6. woww.. he turns to be a voracious reader already? pathu pathu appuram 20 yrs-lae padikka books-e irukadhu.. jokes apart – Adi started with chapter books when she was 5.. let him read Vidya and share your books okie?

  7. @Uma, LG, Priya, Swar, Ani- thanks for putting my fears to rest.. LG, Valar is adorable. She seems to be capable of applying discretion:)

    @ Ramnarendran: Thanks for those pointers on fostering reading habit. But ‘Useless new age writers’? Really? Isn’t that too generalized a statement?

    • hello, have you seen any nut quiz you even when you admit you have not read? hmpf! don’t defend the fellow always ok? konjam appappo thattanum πŸ™‚

  8. Hi Vidya, I was trying to type in my comment but instead the above comment got posted. Pls delete the above comment from the back end if possible.

    Regarding the book, my thoughts:

    1. I loved the trilogy and am waiting for the third part.

    2. Initially I felt that the grandeur, the sense of awe is missing but perhaps that could be because we are typically conditioned to expect stories relating to mythology and god to be narrated that way, We should see this breakthrough as an opening towards change.

    3. I think it is terrific that your son is reading and asking many questions. It means he is thinking through everything that he has read and he has many things to find out more. There is a curiosity in him that will pave the way for his knowledge to grow further. Do encourage him to join reading clubs and so on. These will have active discussion forums whereby kids can put their questions to the audience and debate on the questions, that kind of thing.

    • Swapna, reading-club is a good idea.. Will look out.. Let me know if you come across something similar online too:) And yes, even am awaiting the 3rd part.. Btw, the story is engaging and the plot is well conceived. My only grouse is that it could have turned out to be a rich literature. Think LOTR. It now feels like any fast-paced action movie.. 😐

  9. Vidya

    1. I think you are very very lucky to have a guy who is such a voracious reader..most moms would love to have kids like him πŸ™‚

    2. I am not sure if the Shiva Trilogy can be read by 11 year olds, but if he is enjoying it..its totally fine na..and please, there is nothing in the courtship between Shiva and Parvathi..the movie songs and serials are far worse than that..so you are right in not worrying about that!

    3. About books you think he shouldnt read, just have a talk with him na..you can read this this and this books of Amma, you cant read these ones because you need ot be a bit older to understand..right?

    Errr..I know I am late, but I had to comment on this one eh?

  10. I totally understand. So I have let my son (who is 13) read some of my books though I get to choose what’s good for him to read. I believe a little supervision is all that’s necessary πŸ™‚ Good luck!

    • Yes, a bit of supervision:) And maybe, for some more time, I must also pick books that both of us can read. After all, the world of books is so huge and what I’ve read does not account for even 0.00000001 percent πŸ™‚

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