Tuesday, March 06, 2012

All things are new before they become old - My own

A stroll through a used book store on a lazy Sunday afternoon introduced me to an amazing writer - Beverley Nichols. The world knows him as a famous writer of gardening books but 'Verdict on India' is anything but that. Published in 1944, it is an autobiographical account of the writer's observations of India. As my fingers turn over the yellow, dog-eared pages, I'm amazed at how much India is still the same except maybe the 'Untouchables'.

In the foreword, the author is apologetic about his book. I think that is very humble of him. Why should anyone apologize to reveal the impressions that India leaves you with?

He also stuns us with his words. In one of the opening paragraphs he writes :

"I stared over the valley. Thirty miles away the white robes of Kinchinjunga were spread against the sky of immaculate blue; they looked like a sort of celestial laundry waiting to be gathered into gigantic baskets by industrious angels. The angels would have to hurry up, for the sun was falling swiftly ; already the divine draperies were being stained with gold and crimson and that strange acid green that is the secret of the Indian twilight'

Like most writers those days, Nichols was a versatile writer. He has published novels, mysteries, short stories, essays and children's books.He wrote a number of non-fiction books on travel, politics, religion, cats, parapsychology, and autobiography. Not to mention his  famous books on gardening.

I'm looking forward to picking more of his books. Discovering this writer is like finding an uncut diamond in a mound of pebbles.

His book of Ballads is featured on Project Gutenberg. I'm sure you would find him as pleasurable to read as I do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

when you say 'you would find him as pleasurable', do you mean me? in other words, you talkin' to me? ;)