Home > Books, Nostalgia, Personal > Nostalgia, and all that kind of crap.

Nostalgia, and all that kind of crap.

Summer break at school. Neither V nor I are fans of sending the boys to any “character forming summer camps”. No long vacation plans this summer either, which has meant that A1/A2 are at home most of the time. Mom’s visiting for the holidays, so it’s probably good that she gets to see more of them.

Even after accounting for their football/basketball stints and the many hours on the Xbox, there’s still time to kill. A2 is the hyperactive one, and being the voracious reader that he has always been, scours his large bookshelf for anything new and interesting. It’s Friday evening, there is a bandh in the city the next day (library will be shut), so the weekend potentially looms without new books to read. He’s in a phase where’s he’s finished pretty much the entire young adult fiction genre probably twice over, and is re-reading Harry Potter titles in desperation, half a decade after he first raced through the series.

I’ve tried to get him into P.G Wodehouse in the past, he didn’t seem to like it much (I still harbour hopes that he will pick it up again). We all gather around our favourite bookshelf at home, trying to pick out a book from our collection, one that will pique his interest.

And then I see it, the familiar stark white cover with just the name of the book and the author. I tell A2 that he might relate well to this one. Am just about to give him more context on what its about, when I suddenly have a better idea. I read out the opening sentence of the book, aloud:

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it. ”

A2’s eyes light up as I think it would, we exchange smiles as he takes the novel from me and goes to his favourite reading perch in the balcony.

the_catcher_in_the_rye

I was a few years older than him when I first read Catcher In The Rye. An hour or so later, he looks up at me.. my eyebrows go up in inquiry… he nods, says ‘good’ with a smile. Nostalgia overwhelms me, and my eyes well up.

The next day, in a family whatsapp conversation, in response to some mild admonishment from V on the boys not coming with us for a Carnatic concert, A2’s response is on expected lines – ‘I don’t care’, reads his message…. but now, it also comes with a suffix: “#Holden Caulfield”

(I can almost visualise him grinning with glee while typing that hashtag)

The most famous account of teenage angst and rebellion ever written in the history of English fiction, has just found another generation.

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  1. April 23, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Always so nice to read your stuff. It’s really too bad you guys are in Bangalore! See you soon.

    • April 24, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      hope you come more often.. and stay with us!

  2. Souvik
    April 23, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Very nicely written. I read it in my early twenties…

    • April 24, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      Thanks, Souvik. It’s almost like a landmark moment at that time of life no, to read this one? 🙂

  3. April 24, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Always so nice to read your stuff. It’s really too good you guys are in Bangalore! See you soon. 🙂

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