Saturday, June 14, 2014

Listen Up!

I just discovered an entirely new dimension to "reading books".

You can be washing the dishes, ironing the clothes or just pacing up and down on the terrace, while your mind is far-far away -- on a steamer chugging down the Congo river in Africa, or a strange hotel room in Sapporo-Japan or on a chilled pina-colada on the sun-kissed beaches of Hawaii. Audio books are just amazing.

All you have to do is to download the MP3 files on to your mobile phone, keep a set of earphones handy, and plug in whenever you have a few minutes to spare during the day.

My first audio book "Arabian Days and Nights" by Naguib Mahfouz,  the second, VS Napaul's "A Bend in the River". Today I finished my third book - Haruki Murakami's "Dance, Dance, Dance".

The two were quite distinct from each other. Naipaul's book was set in Africa and narrated by a person who seem to have really put himself into the shoes of Salim, the main protagonist, an ethnic Indian trader trying to make a name for himself in the dark interiors of Africa, at a town located at the 'bend of a river'. The book was fairly straightforward and so was the narrative.

Murakami's book was far more complex. It had almost all the usual ingredients - complex emotions, gourmet food, wine, sex, music, mysterious women, and surreal experiences. Cats were conspicuously absent. However, in narrator here is just not able to do justice to the women characters, all of whom uniformly sounded like transvestites.

Yet, this is just a minor quibble.

The convenience - and the advantages - of having interesting books readily available in your mobile helps you squeeze out much more out of your 24-hours, than ever before. You can give your eyes too some rest, for good measure!

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