Thursday, December 28, 2006

Memories Of Midnight

No friends, this one is not as suggestive as it may sound from the heading, but yes it has something to do with the famous Sydney Sheldon novel of the same name.

That day, I went to a book store and saw this book lying unattended there. It reminded me of(besides its characters Catherine Alexander, Constantin Demiris, Napoleon Chotas, Tony Rizzoli etc) a particularly funny incident which happened with me when I came across this book for the first time.

Funny at hindsight , but not so funny at that time. It could have been a disaster.

We had just finished our ICSE(X) exams, and also had our farewell party. Until then, we had read only the goody books present in our school library like The Three Investigators series, The Hardy Boys series, The Adventures Of Sherlock Homes etc, and we had devoured almost all of them. I personally junked The Famous Five pretty early because for half the time in the book, they would keep on picnicking.

Just as we were given farewell party our adorable English teacher decided to present the select few of us some English fiction books which weren't exactly meant for boys. But then we had grown up, so she thought we should grow up on the books we read too. Bless her.

So she bought the books like Memories of Midnight, The Doomsday Conspiracy, The Eagle Has Flown etc and distributed amongst some of us at the party.

The first one I read was Memories Of Midnight. Those were the times when reading English books, and watching English movies automatically brought a stigma along with it. It wasn't exactly a taboo, but certainly a few eyebrows would raise here and there.

As those who know Sheldon, sleaze has always been a definitive part of his literature, and this book was no exception. Contrary to what the name suggests, this is not an out an out porn book. Those memories of midnight are about some nightmares the protagonists goes through, and not sleaze. However, the prologue itself had some adult content.

I had just started to read this book, when one of my maternal uncles came for a visit. He is an English teacher in an intermediate college, and takes his profession a little too seriously. He really couldn't ever come out of the teacher in him even when he was out of classroom. Even today, he talks to everyone as if he is taking a class, even to my mother who is older to him by an year.

He caught hold of the book, and when he saw the heading, he got the same expression which you all must have got seeing the heading of the post. As one would expect, the lecture started.

This book is not for the boys of my age ?
But it has been presented by my school teacher!
I wonder how a school teacher can present this?
But the book's name is misleading.
Still.. ok let me see.

As he started perusing the prologue, I panicked. He finished two pages and until then the book was safe, but the third page had it, and I knew I would be killed. Then suddenly Papa said something to him which distracted his attention, and his grip on the book got slackened. I quickly slipped the book out of his hand, and immediately left the room.

That book was tucked under the Almirah for a good two days. These were my memories from this book. For those who haven't read it, its a good book to read, along with its prequel - The Other Side Of Midnight.