Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oh brother, big brother.

Oh brother, wouldn't you know it? Hopped into the local Crossword store and saw a paperback omnibus of the George Orwell novels. Although the paper was still only marginally above the sort used to print coaching class and salwar sale handbills, the print was more readable than an earlier version that Penguin had shat out for a significantly larger sum. At 399 rupees, I told myself to expect no better for the price and walked off with it.
Morbid curiosity of course led me to check the Flipkart site and it's available for a significantly lower 295 HERE. The bargain hunter cried "Gah!"
My dream still remains to some day get  hold of the wonderful hardcover edition Knopf had put out. This was the version in which I first read Orwell. The book was at my uncles' place, and I have no clue of how it ever came to be there, an aloof outcast among the large piles of  much-thumbed Erle Stanley Gardner's. I had of course then just seen the Michael Radford film of 1984 on Star TV (oh Star TV, lovely in your infancy, you grew up to be such an ugly shameless whore), which thrilled me enough to pick up that story first. I read all the others in that collection, except Clergyman's daughter, and loved all of them. Coming up for air is a personal favorite; it's themes of lament over a lost idyllic time could of course not have failed to strike a chord in this curmudgeonly heart. Like many good things of my youth, the book had to abruptly go missing from my uncles' house, with no clue as to which of the innumerable dastardly relatives had borrowed it, never to return.
Some while back, I got singed in an Amazon used copy sale when a scoundrel and blackguard of the first water claiming to sell that copy instead sent me a soiled library copy of Animal Farm for my money. Luckily Amazon was good enough to refund my money on that bad deal, but it's not about money, really. It's about expectations and their shattering. Which, come to think of it, is a lot of what life is about.

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