When Shashi Tharoor set a target of reading 365 books in 365 days...Did he do it?
Thiruvananthapuram: Eminent writer, former diplomat and politician Shashi Tharoor shared a chat with Ukrainian writer Andrey Kurkov to delve on the topic `Why I read’ bringing to light their childhood reading habits, the first book they began reading and how they find reading interesting.
Tharoor began the topic by asking Kurkov on what he looks at while reading and on things that was not available to him in his mother tongue Russian. Kurkov spoke about how his books were banned in Russia and books that was very difficult to update. "I have written adventure stories too and there were a lot of Russian literature to compete with."
Kurkov also talked about how he learnt Polish language because of the censorship in Soviet Union and because Poland had less censorship.
Kurkov asked Shashi Tharoor about the first book he remembered reading as a child. Replying to this, Tharoor said he had read Noddy books, Enid Blyton books, Biggles among others. Shashi Tharoor said he grew up in his childhood reading age-appropriate books. As a child Tharoor started writing befor reading. His parents pushed him to read. He was a voracious reader and he read to escape. Books gave him an escape route. "Instead of English children running around solving mysteries in Enid Blyton's Famous Five, Indian children go off to my ancestral village in Kerala to solve mysteries. Unfortunately those stories were lost."
Being an indiscriminate reader, he shared an experience on how riduculous it was to set himself a target of reading 365 books in an year and had completed it well during Christmas. He had vowed never to do it again for he never could savour the pleasure of writing.
Shashi Tharoor said that it was his father who insisted him to participate in debates. In the beginning, Tharoor's father helped him in preparing it and memorise. The confidence and memory came seeing how my stories impacted my audience.
To one of the audience questions to both the writers if they have thought of reviewing their books after publication, Kurkov said he had done it for a few books but Shashi Tharoor said he would never like to do it and would not modify his baby even if it comes out with flaws though it would make him more mature in his next attempt.