I am not a very gifted person. No, I am not talking about talent or the obvious lack of it. I am talking about gifts (or presents). I got one such rare gift from my cousin Krupa.

"Do you read books?", asked Krupa when I had called her.
"I don't read regularly, but I read. Yaake?" (The latest survey shows that 8 out of 10 questions people ask me will have the reaction 'yaake?' from me. May be I am too curious to know what made people ask me such a question!)
"Nothing, I just asked"

I met her that evening and she handed over me a book, with a note inside - "To a person who is almost as irritating as the author of this book!". The book was "Without Feathers" (and the second page of the book containing an Emily Dickinson quote - "Hope is the thing with feathers") Guess who the author is? Yes, its the same bespectacled genius - Woody Allen !
I was like "Wow, where did you get this?". I was as excited as a six year old in a chocolate shop. I must have told "wow" atleast 5 times!

I read that book till almost 1.00 AM that night. Its a very old book, published even before I was born (The introduction about the author does not mention the 1977 classic Annie Hall) Reading the book convinced me that he was much more crazy than what he appears in his movies. The first chapter was "Selections from Allen notebooks", where he has written random ideas he's got. I was surprised, because I have maintained a similar document called "" where I keep scribbling my weird ideas and crazy thoughts (I still cant seem to accept the fact that I cant get a producer for my movie!) The book as such was strictly okay, but there were some amazing lines:

  • (Haven't you seen some people writing in their blogs like - I went to the movie with S and J. Here is Woody's take on them.) Should I marry W? Not if she wont tell the other letters in her name!
  • What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? Oh in that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet!
  • My lord, my lord. What hast Thou done, lately?
  • Only God can make a tree - probably because its so difficult to figure out how to put the bark on.
  • The grasshopper played all summer, but the ant worked and saved. When the winter came, the grasshopper had nothing, but the ant complained of chest pains!
  • Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.

I was laughing uncontrollably as I was reading it and and I was getting lot of ideas, which I noted down in a sheet of paper.
  • "Don't you like having coffee with Mathilda?", asked my friend with a 'I-know-it-but-I-want-to-hear-from-you' smile.
"No, I like having coffee with cookies", I said and burst into laughter.
  • Hey, why do thousands of people come to Bangalore everyday - which is full of dust, pollution, noise, garbage, traffic, FM radio channels? Well, may be this is what they call 'capital' punishment!

P.S : I have always argued that gifts should not be a criterion for judging how close a person is to you. I still stand by that. But, I completely agree with you Krupa, that nothing is comparable to a "personalized" gift!


  1. Anonymous said...
    well...the obvious delight i saw in your eyes was worth getting that book for you.Maybe it was my way of saying that knowing you has been one of the best gifts life has given me!

    And of course that book got you to write about me(the greatest influence of your life) ...well worth it ;)
    Viji said...
    hello vasu,
    'capital punishment' was a really good one.


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