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Nostalgia: The Golden Habit of Book Reading!

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The late sixties to the late eighties—the golden period for us as far as the habit of reading book is concerned. For my father the period started from around the early forties. Rightfully, my father and we children were termed as ‘book worms’ by family and friends. We used to coil up wherever and whenever possible with books—books of various nature ranging from detective novels to heavy non-fiction in mostly English, Assamese and Bengali. We can hardly forget those golden moments of reading—on a fresh morning in the veranda armchair or reclining on the sofa in the drawing room or half inclined on the pillow in the bedroom or on winter nights after supper inside the warm quilt with the table lamp burning. On Sundays my mother had a hard time getting us on to the table after serving lunch. My father had the usual habit of trying to finish a book on a single sitting and we also tried to imitate him on various occasions. Thanks to my father’s childhood we favoured English classics a lo

My two fathers

Yes, I have two fathers and it's not a joke. My father by birth, Amulya Kumar Chakravarty was an author and translator of world epics. He translated Homer's Odyssey and Illiad, and Virgil's Aeneid into Assamese. These great books are milestones in Assamese literature. And he was a great friend of mine. I lost him in 1991, but he continues to live with us. My father by marriage, Bibekananda Bhattacharya was a great musician, composer and tabla player. From the fifties he had been accompanying legendary artistes on tabla, composing great songs including film music and doing scholarly research in music. IAnd he was a great friend of mine. I lost him in 2007, but he continues to live with us. I consider myself very fortunate to have two such great father friends and unfortunate to lose them both--well, physically.