I am neither a great reader and nor is my taste all great but some books are very close to my heart. Here is the list.
1. Waiting for Godot- (Samuel Beckett)..where nothing happens twice, where you don't know whether there is a light at the end of the tunnel at all and even if it is..you don't know what to do with it. I can write a book on this play for its emptiness rings through all of my being.
" We always find something eh Didi..to give us the impression that we exist"
"Yes yes, we're magicians"
2. To Kill a Mockingbird.(Harper Lee) For I want to spend my life trying to be one tenth of the person Atticus Finch was.
“Atticus, he was real nice."
"Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.”
3. Mrs Dalloway (Viginia Woolf) For some reason I have always identified deeply with Woolf and her stream of consciousness. She expresses the deepest fears of my heart.
"She felt very young, at the same time unspeakably aged. She sliced like a knife through everything, at the same time was outside, looking on. She had a perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day."
4. Chokher Bali-(Tagore) Its sad that I can't read the original work in Bengali but I love this work by Tagore for its bold theme, for its expression and its insight into the complexities of human mind and sexuality.
“It is easy to drown yourself effortlessly into that which is truly profound and do no realise its true worth. And since the restless illusion which brings no pleasure even if you drain it to the dregs lead us by the nose and makes us dance a merry dance to its tune and we take it to be the lost desirable thing”
5. Look Back in Anger- (John Osborne)- The play conveys the disillusionment and frustrations of the ruined youth in the post war era. The kitchen sink realism at its best.
"I suppose people of our generation aren't able to die for good causes any longer. We had all that done for us, in the thirties and the forties, when we were still kids. ...There aren't any good, brave causes left."
6. A House for Mr. Biswas- The best dark comedy I have come across till yet. It has those moments when you laugh in agony. Brilliant is my word for it.
“attributed the decay of Hindu society in Trinidad to the rise of the timorous, weak, non-beating class of husband.”
7. Any work by Anton Chekov- I would have stalked this man and proposed him if he were alive.
8. Serious Men- (Manu Joseph)- Another great dark comedy. The sarcasm can bite through your flesh and yet you'll laugh.
"From the point of view of pure chemistry, it is more miraculous to make wine into water than water into wine. But he did not do that. Because if he had gone to someone's house and converted their wine into water, they would have crucified him much earlier. He knew, Jana. He knew making water into wine was a more popular thing to do.”
9. Man's search for Meaning- Viktor Frankl- A chronicle about survival at the Auschwitz concentration camp and a slap on the face of everyone who thinks their life isn't worth living. Including me.
“Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'.”
10. The Wandering Falcon- (Jamil Ahmed)- A book that dwells on the lives of the frontier tribes of Afghanistan and Pakistan and their struggles with the monster of modernization and boundaries. Both the man and his work are deeply awe inspiring.
“...One lives and survives only if one has the ability to swallow and digest bitter and unpalatable things. We, you and I, and our people shall live because there are only a few among us who do not love raw onions.”
Brevity has never been my strength. :)