Books, emotions and memories over the years

First Prize award-winning entry of the contest –

SuperStar Blogger Award

If you ask me what gift can make me the happiest, I would always say books. The smell of a book or the feeling evoked from touching it is sanctimonious for me. That is why if someone asks me to choose between a paperback or e-book, I will always choose the former.

Books have been an integral part of my growing up years. My father, now a retired Mathematics Professor has always been fond of Bengali literature. My mother would read out stories from the children’s books and my fascination for the written word began. Once I discovered the love of reading on my own, I sucked into a world of my own.

I must have been in class 5 when I was introduced to Satyajit Ray. During summer vacation that year, one of his Detective novels ‘Sonar Kella’ adapted to a movie kept playing on TV. I was enthralled by it. I remember studying hard for the final term exams that year because Baba had promised a double treat of books by Ray if I ranked in the top three.

Thus began my journey with the razor-sharp and intelligent sleuth Feluda aka Pradosh C Mitter. Assisted by his cousin brother Tapesh Ranjan aka Topshe and friend Lalmohan Ganguly aka Jatayu, they traveled from the banks of the Ganges in Benaras to the Thames in London.

Each year, I would eagerly be waiting for the book fair held during winters. I would pick up all the new Feluda books, Ray’s other books, and some more detective thrillers. These books were then kept in Ma’s custody until my second term exams were over. I can never forget the way I would rush back home to claim my most cherished possession after the last exam.

Throughout my growing years, winter afternoons had occupied a special place in my heart. I remember sitting on a carpet spread over the veranda floor, sipping coffee and reading books. Ma would give me company some days and so those afternoons were spent narrating a story from any of my favorite books to her.

Books, emotions and memories over the years
Books, emotions, and memories over the years

As I grew up, I started reading novels in various other genres of fiction and non-fiction. But what remained constant is my love for Feluda, Satyajit Ray, and Detective novels.

In 1999, I moved out of my hometown for higher studies. I spent sixteen years in different corners of the country acquiring degrees and rising higher in the corporate world. Most of the time my hostel room or my flat resembled a mini library. Even today my apartment has more cabinets filled with books than any other items.

Two authors who have a permanent place in my bedroom and life are Satyajit Ray and Agatha Christie because I inherited the love for reading and writing thrillers from them. When I started writing my debut novella ‘Deal of Death’ this May, I paid my tribute to my favorite author by naming my protagonist Raya Ray.

My toddler, who turns three this month enjoys reading books. I am trying to pass on to him the love of reading that I inherited from my parents. Every time that I sit with him to read a book, it brings back memories of Ma reading out stories to me. Seven years back I lost her to pancreatitis and life has been filled with turbulence ever since. For me, Ray and his books will always be more than just stories. They are memory-keepers of the nostalgic moments spent with Ma that have been etched in my heart forever.



Author: Sonia Chatterjee

Who am I? An erstwhile banker turned blogger/writer/author. Any qualifications? A Post-Graduate degree in Chemistry followed by a second Post-Graduate Diploma in Management. I completed a one-year MFA in creative writing course from the Writer's Village University, U.S. in Dec 2020. Though I must admit that I am still trying to figure out how and when I can connect all these dots. Have I done any real work? If two years in market research, six years in banking as a branch head, three-plus years of blogging, writing, and publishing a book can be considered as real work, then yes! Where do I live? After spending life like a nomad for sixteen years in Delhi, Bangalore & Mysore, I am back to where it all started from - Kolkata. My favorite things - Books, coffee, travel, food, and my five-year-old son. What is this blog about? Through Sonia's musings, I intend to explore writing in various genres, create social awareness, spread laughter, and give words to emotions. Anything for readers? You can check out my book 'Deal of Death' on Amazon Kindle. If you like fast-paced thrillers, this Detective fiction introducing the woman sleuth, Raya Ray could turn out to be your perfect weekend read.

39 thoughts on “Books, emotions and memories over the years”

  1. I read a new book every 2 weeks or so. As a rule, I always read at least few pages every day. Often it is a lot more than that. I squeeze reading in whenever I can — primarily weeknights before bed and then throughout the weekend. Of course this pales in comparison to some notable voracious readers, such as Bill Gates (50+ books per year) and Warren Buffett (500+ pages per day). Reading therefore not only fulfils my interests, but also serves as a springboard for sharing what I learn. I figure if these insights help me, they likely will help others as well, especially for people who do not have the time to read as many books as I do. Like you I have a nice collection of books in my room and whenever I see them they make me so happy, I feel they are smiling back at me. Thank you Sonia for a wonderful post and making it a part of my blog’s birthday celebration. Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Romila. I wrote this in just two hours last morning. In the process a lot of childhood memories were refreshed. I’m really glad that you liked it. Congratulations on the blogs this birthday. Cheers to many more years of blogging.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Contrary to your experience, I was never encouraged to read anything beyond text books while I was in school. I got introduced to reading very late in life, but once I started, I knew I was hitched for life.
    It is always a pleasure to read these posts, Sonia, where you give in such a heart felt account of incidents from you life. I feel I know you very well now. And yes, it is evident from every post of yours, how much you miss your mom. Mom power to you my friend. And may god bless her soul. I’m she is very proud of you and brags about you to her friends in heaven all the time. Luv you loads!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Books, fresh papers, its all gone for me. I mean, its almost like 5 years I am unable to continue this book reading.
    I remember your ebook and the Ray. I was assuming the Ray was just based on the region you live until I read your comment on how it was born!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love Feluda series by Satyajit Ray. I read them and saw many of the movies. Be a child or an adult, Feluda never stopped drawing complete attention whenever I read. Wonderful choice as a favorite book series.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m huge “Feluda” fan as well. Feluda and Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay’s children’s books were the part and parcel of my childhood. Later, during adolescent, I got hooked to Byomkesh Bakshi as well. Glad to see another admirer of Ray’s literary brilliance. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had a similar childhood 🙂 ‘Sonar Kella” was such a gem. Alongwith books, I also remember watching Bengali movies in the afternoon. My dad wouldn’t miss a single scene and I inherited that from him! Sorry to hear about your loss but am sure she must a proud mom smiling from above and blessing her talented daughter. So, now I know the reason behind Raya Ray 🙂 You won’t believe but ‘Deal of Death’ is downloaded and saved for a long time now. I’ll read that post Alexa for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m so glad to find a fellow Feluda fan. I feel a connect with you at so many levels that at times I feel that we are long lost sisters. Take your time in reading but good that you have kept it downloaded. It’s been out of stock since July and I haven’t even put it on Amazon yet.

      Liked by 1 person

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