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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Mocking Bird

I cried when I lost TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. It was this battered old edition with a yellow cover and my father's name neatly printed in his careful hand on the front page. I have read that book at least 6 times and each time I see a bit of my life in a forgotten paragraph.

Maybe it had something to do with my dad being Atticus and me being Scout. Or perhaps it had something to do with the fact that Boo Radley lived down the road, a horrific Down Syndrome afflicted boy who would insist on lunging at us terrified kids. He wanted to be friendly, we didn’t know any better. Not until the kids from A Block threw stones at Faran. Then he was one of us.

We fought his battles for him. He never understood local politics. B Block and A Block were separated by a rift - a scary boy shaped rift. I wonder if Faran went back to Afghanistan and remembers the rag tag bunch of kids who trailed him, scurrying away the moment he came lumbering towards them. If I were him, I would want to forget us, never mind the bloody battles and the black eyes.


My Dad is Atticus, he still is, he always will be.... my friend says every girl thinks her dad is Atticus. Not every girl reads, so I know he is wrong. My dad is as reasonable as Atticus and never forced me to do a thing, he just explained the consequences, the decision was mine and he respected it.

There are some books that make you cry, and some make you remember and well some are so stupid you wish the publishers had sensibly burn the manuscript before unleashing the monstrosity on an unsuspecting public that judges a book by its cover.

To Kill a Mockingbird is different, it's a biography of every adult on the face of the planet. Every adult who was a kid once and forgot what being a kid is about. The Soviet Books and Harper Lee do have something in common, they hit home. You know what sort of a grown-up you ought to be.

23 comments:

karmic_jay said...

Very well written. I have seen the movie but not read the book. Gregory Peck who I love personified Atticus Finch to me. I have never had a real life figure like him to look up to, but I seea bit of those traits in various people I admire.
I have to read the book though just cos in these troubling times there is some semblance of hope or promise of hope and belief in ideals that stand the test of time.

Varsha said...

Never read the book...but will. I cried too when my friend lost my dad's old copy of thye Love story. Not that I envision my life in that book but I love that book very much..

Aditi said...

I read the book a long time ago, but this makes me want to pick it up again to see if i rediscover something hidden in it

mathew said...

oh i never knew they have different covers..my copy has the same cover shown in the blog..

Btw thanx a lot for offering me help..Moi in hamburg and its pretty far from frankfurt!!

neways have a great time!!

MellowDrama said...

Karmic: Thanks, you simply HAVE to read this book, try to get your hands on it. Ditto Varsha!

Mathew: Have fun, hey there are at least 4 different covers, the earliest edition was this yummy orche yellow, you don't get em anymore, just this dull black cover walla

Grubister said...

Yeah, you're a scout. I know a scout when i see one. My sister is a scout too, even though i'm not anything like Jem.

Theres something about Mockingbird, that gets you thinking back to the times when we were all dusty and barefoot, and free. and played from daybreak till right after the 6:30 evening staff bus pulled in and it was time to go home. Everything was a season back then, nungoos, mangoes, jackfruit. Wearing funny looking bell-bottoms, tshirts that said
"1979 - year of the child". Catching velvet poochies and storing them in matchboxes. Scavenging used firecrackers to make a bonfire after diwali.


thanks for reminding me about mockingbird. I have to and cry now.

mona said...

hi dear,
well i havent read this book..but definetly will as from a long time im in search of a gr8 book..
now u give me the name.thanx
take care

Wriju said...

I don't see an Atticus in my dad, do you have to be a girl for that? I have read the book only once but I long to reread it sometime.
Perhaps it is one of those books that seem different with age.
I like your blog very much :-)

Twisted DNA said...

I know at least a couple of more girls who think their dad is Atticus. I remember reading a survey a huge percentage of people chose Atticus as the best dad. I only watched the movie, didn't read the novel. Loved Mr. Peck's role and action!

Anonymous said...

Loved your Mocking bird article, reminded me of the hot summer afternoons we would hang around the streets of Gulu, play pittu, laugh at mantri (the vampire according to Poopsie) and Sharif, and yes, what was the Afghani girl's name? That book brings back lovely memories.
- Mohini

How do we know said...

This is a very well done piece, esp the comparison with teh Soviet books. That sure makes the point in a strong way.

And the one liner I thot of at the end of ur post: Would the boy you were be proud of the man you are?

endevourme said...

mmm...worth reading looks like....

Nikky Egland said...

I looooooove that book! I am so sorry you lost it!

anumita said...

That book looks like life itself. I hope you find it. The very same copy with your father's name printed on it.

MellowDrama said...

Wriju: Hey thanks!

Twisted: Lol why am I not surprised, you simply MUST read this book and I have to get my hands on the movie.

Mohini, Grubster: Couldn't agree more, funny how it is the little things that grab you in the long run

How do we know: Nice one, yes that is very important! That makes ALL the difference

Nikky, Anumita: Thanks guys! Someone has definitely snitched it...have looked everywhere for it. Well, someone has good taste:)

vibhor said...

hi dear,
sorry not able to be in this world for a month as i was traveling a lot..try to keep in touch now..
so hows going?
have a great day..

aqua said...

I didnt get a chance to read it. But surely i will. Thanks for visiting my space.

Atul Sabnis said...

someone took my copy and never returned it. Grr.

imhunt said...

rama all senti and all kya baat hain? Vizag getting too boring kya? COme back to Mumbai, we'll party again.

ANU said...

hi, finally i visited your BLOG and yes i must say i will have to read this book, so try find your copy

da Angel wears Escada said...

I still have to get my hands on this book. As someone, earlier on commented, and quite rightly so; you see this sort of stuff play out day in and day out, and yet there seems little you can do to change it from happening -whether or not, you've read this book is immaterial.

As for moi, till someone gifts me a copy of this book, I will settle in for 'Crash' on DVD.
I am waiting....

LAK said...

Hey, Mockingbird is my favourite too---do read my take(though I couldn't write anything on Mockingbird particularly)at
http://cvlakshmi.blogspot.com/2006/03/book-post.html

Cure for ennui said...

I haven't yet read the book but the movie is one o my favs. a brilliant justice to a brilliant book. i will read it soon.