Charming Spell of Desai’s “Shriman Yogi”
In honor of the former president of India late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Maharashra celebrates “Reading Inspiration Day” on 15th of October. On that occasion I wrote a post about the book which inspired me in the world of books. It cultivated a hobby of reading. It was a Marathi post. Today I have the opportunity to bring that book in front of a wider audiance through Blogchatter’s bloghopping prompt.
There’s a cupboard in my house, my grandma’s cupboard. It’s filled with all sorts of books. This is the story of my entry into the enchanting world of books. I must have been in 4th or 5th standard back then. But back in those days, my interaction with that cupboard was limited to stealing some glances at them if the door is open. My grandpa used to be a member of big public library in Nashik. So those borrowed books was in house too. But I never felt like picking one up and read.
But one day, it was all supposed to change.
I think it was a summer break for my school. I dared one afternoon and opened that cupboard. While browsing through the shelves, reading book titles and author names on spines of well stacked books. However, one particular book caught my eye. It was quite a huge chunky book. But the size didn’t grab my attention. Binding of the book was unique. Unique yellowish hard bound cover was unmarked. It didn’t bear any title, any name. I grabbed that book and took it out. It felt quite heavy at that time, with 1000 plus pages in a hard cover binding. I opened the cover and title in bold orange caught my eye.
“श्रीमान योगी”. For obvious reasons, i couldn’t understand the meaning of the words. Yet I stated reading it. And man, what a joy it was! Ranjeet Desai is the man who showed me the what joy of reading meant. There must be something about Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj back in school that year, to story in book felt much more gripping and interesting than chapters of my textbook. I was oblivious to the greatness of this author. I finished the book in straight 3 days, loosing track of food, sleep, playtime and all other attractions which a 10 years old kid could have in late 90s.
After this, there was no turning back
I got hooked on the habit of reading. I started picking up the books borrowed from library. Many of which I have left unfinished as I couldn’t understand a thing in it at that age. But I have read this particular book number of times. Even now, I pull this one off the shelf and start reading from a random page. It still gives me the same pleasure. Recently I bought two short story collections of Desai’s stories. I have finished बाबूलमोरा and will start मोरपंखी सावल्या now as my next read.
Fortunately for you all, Vikrant Pande has translated this Marathi book into English and Harper Collins has published it Under Name of “Shivaji: The Great Maratha”. So, grab your copy and let me know what you think.