"E-reading Fascinates Me" - Raman Kumar


By: Raman Kumar

Partner, Director - Tracinema

I spent the early years of my life in Amritsar. As a child, my uncle, who was a Sanskrit scholar, left a deep impression on me. He had a huge collection of books and, in fact, he used to seek inspiration from books. Under his influence, I grew up to be a voracious reader.

As a child, I would visit all the bookstalls in Amritsar to find the right books to read. Sometimes, I would walk for a few kilometres or even for a few hours in search of the right books.

I grew up reading short stories, fiction and magazines. I have fond memories of reading my favourite Hindi magazine Parag. Since it was not easily available anywhere in Amritsar, I used to walk to the local railway station every month to grab it.

During my college days, I grew fond of a Hindi magazine called Sarika. Slowly, I graduated to poetry and as I got involved in the theatre scene I moved on to authors like Anton Chekhov. So, reading became a daily habit. After coming to Mumbai, I continued to read while commuting. Till date, I always carry a book and read whenever I can.

Earlier on, I could finish reading a book in three to four days as there were no other distractions like DVDs and television. But, now due to lack of time, I take a long time to finish a book.

My favourite books

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is my all-time favourite book. The character Heathcliff has stayed with me forever. I would say, it's not just a pretty love story but a tale of madness and revenge. I would love to make a film based on it one day.

An English novel,The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks has also inspired me immensely. Shekhar, Ek Jeevani by Ajneya is my favourite novel in Hindi as at different stages, it portrays the philosophy of life.

Some other authors who have caught my fancy are Amrita Pritam, Surendra Prakash, Rajendersingh Bedi and Narendra Maurya. I am also passionate about Hindi and Urdu poetry, which celebrates love, compassion and human equality. Kaifi Azmi, Nida Fazli and Rajesh Reddy from the new lot are my preferred poets. I also love ghazals by Gulzar.

Books that do not hold me

Self help and spiritual books do not hold me. The only self help book which I managed to finish was Who Moved My Cheese? An amazing way to deal with change in your work and life by Spencer Johnson. I like to read literature published by Osho Rajneesh whom I consider as one of the best scholars of this century. In fact, I subscribe to the Osho magazine and read it regularly.

Apart from this, I have a large collection of books at home but it's not really organised as a proper library. I have a person who delivers Hindi books to me at home. I also get a monthly catalogue to choose from all the new books in the market.

Currently, I am reading...

I've just finished reading Pukhtan, a collection of poems by Gulzar. Just started on with short stories titled Nine O Nine by Nandita Puri which is very good. I am a lot into reading short stories and fiction. Two of my films Saath Saath and Parbat Ke Us Paar have also been inspired by short stories published in magazines.

Browsing and E-reading.

I am also into E-reading. I think the concept of e-books is a wonderful concept. Recently I had ordered a book from firstandsecond.com, an interesting online book store. Also, another interesting concept is that of audio books which I've discovered on a site called audible.com.

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