"Snake Xenzia", Tea…and "SHANTARAM"

The other day,over a cup of tea *God save the person who made something so amazing out of leaves and the required assortment*, I was trying to reclaim my throne as the undisputed king of “Snake Xenzia”.
Yes,while the world is fawning over  birds with a bad temper,I still love the snake. *Not quite literally,though*.


At the adjacent table a couple of guys had got into what was about to transform into a very animated discussion.Although,I do not justify eavesdropping,I could not resist the temptation of lending them my ear at the mention of “SHANTARAM”.Here is what my memory has permitted me to narrate from that conversation :–
I have named  the two guys as ‘A’ and ‘B’.
 *Don’t grumble over the drab nomenclature.There is a lot of typing involved ! *


“A: I finally finished reading  “SHANTARAM” yesterday.At 1258 pages,it makes a pretty good read.
B:Really !…What a coincidence,even i read it last week.So,did you like it ?
A:Like it ? I loved it ! I mean,someone who has not read it is actually losing out on a very brutally honest account of life.
B:Whoa…!! You sound pretty impressed by the author.
A:I am…Hats off to the man for giving such a breath taking account of his life-crimes,love,fear,loss…
B:Yup…!! Lin,the protagonist is actually my favourite…His struggle to overcome his addiction to drugs,the grief at the loss of his loved ones were really heart-wrenching.


A:Not taking any credit away from Lin, my favourites in the story were the members of the motley crew from the slums–the likes of Prabaker,Johnny and others…Also,I found myself rooting for the dynamic Abdullah Taheri,even the crowd at Leopold’s.
B:I must say that,the characters were so life like that the experience of reading the book was just like watching them from the sidelines.
A:Very true…..Not to forget the enigmatic Karla and Khader along with his mafia council.Well,enough said about the characters…I was also delighted by the memorable quips and dialogues in the book.
B:Absolutely ! The language was almost immaculate. Some lines are still lingering in my mind…!


A:The aspect which really hooked me on to the book was  the  honest and understanding portrayal by Roberts.The poverty,filth,disparity were all depicted in a proper perspective.
B:The crimes were also depicted pretty much in detail.Even the Gulf war !
A:That is actually the charm of this piece of literature.It derives so much from real life  that it can knock the wind out of some people,if you know what I mean. 


It is one such book which captures the soul of a society and then nourishes it with such a fine blend of rich imagery and characters with depth,that the reader is swept off his/her feet.
B: I totally agree with you. I think we should get going now….We are already late for the briefing”.


By this time I was almost bent over backwards.But their account of the book “SHANTARAM”,stirred my curiosity.
Wondering about their tardy briefing I asked for another cup of  tea *I just cannot have enough of it !*…and set about my task of feeding the snake and watching its tail grow again,with diligence.”Damn you snake,I am going to get that highest score today”…This is what I must have said to myself.

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