It is that time of the year again. If any other period comes close to my most favoured monsoon, then it has to be this transitioning time when short piercing rays of the sun lose their edge and morph into slanting beams, when tree tops bask in that faint golden radiance a little longer, when slight nip in the early morning air makes one fall in love with that hot cup of tea over again, when a whiff of roasted peanuts fills one with nostalgia of carefree bygone times, when streaming light through thin fog appears like divine guiding illumination and when everything in nature turns to wear a mysterious misty cloak. Palpable festivities and religious fervour adorn the days and nights further. Faint chants of Ramayana verses, street enactments of Ramlila, recitals of Durga Stuti, dhak (dhol beats) emanating from Puja pandaals and the temple bells add to the charm of the revelry.
I have mentioned earlier that the world to general reading or reading for fun opened its gates for me quite unhurriedly when I was already in my late teens. Until then, for me, books meant - course books, supplementary books, reference books and similar such which primarily taught and tested (and not subtly at all). Written words could work as relaxing pursuit or a strong medium to unwind was completely unknown to me. I am happy that the journey in the literary world began from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I enjoyed everything about it so much that one after another, I read all her works in quick succession. Once I had my fill (not exactly) of Austen, I moved on to Thomas Hardy picking Tess of the d'urbervilles first and the pattern that I followed for Austen continued with Hardy too. I literally devoured his complete works. Reading quickly escalated from being a hobby to a passion and I was reading almost with vengeance as if to make up for all the time I lost during early years.