Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Oldest Book and its Memories (My entry for BlogAdda and Friendsofbooks.com Contest)

Here am posting details about my favourite books since childhood.I am participating in the My Oldest Book and its Memories contest by BlogAdda and FriendsofBooks

The contest was to tell about one book you kept on your bookshelf for a very long time and for me ,there are two books which are in Malayalam and is with me till now


  • Theryoshka (Russian folk tales by A Tolstoy ,About a kid named Theryoshka who used her intelligence to escape from witch)
  • Blue Cup by Arkady Gaidar ( About father and daughter going for outing without the bossy mother and many explanations about life in Russia) 
  •  


 Those days (1983~84) ,many Russian translations of children's books were available for the price of 1 Rs,3 Rs..It would be published by Prabhat Book House or by Progress Publishers who were very prominent those days.



As my mother was working as a professor in a Govt College , we had the privilege of coming across these good books.Many of these publishers used to go directly to colleges and sell off their books ,around the time when teachers get their salary. The publisher's were smart as they knew ,they can target teachers as teachers will value books more than anyone else. The books were also very colorful ,thick papers and print was also very good.Nowadays it's difficult to find such good print and good quality books at such a nominal rate.

Though the books were priced very low ( 1 Rs,2 Rs,3 Rs ) ,those days even 1 Rupee was very valuable.We used to get many things for 1 Rupee..As kids ,we could get 10 children's day stamps for 1 Rupee :) (Children's Day stamps were not real stamps but a small stamp shaped paper with Govt's logo and priced @10 Paisa each)


That was the story about the book and now how it got to my hands..My mother bought the two books so that she can give one to me and one for my brother.As i am elder ,i got the bigger one i.e Blue Cup and the other one for my brother..




The stories were very good and showed that good always wins over evil and the other one was about enjoying life..and it was very special as the book was gifted by my mother by sparing some amount from her daily expenditure and was one of the loveliest books ever found at that time with all those pictures ..

If at all i have to give it away ,i will pass on to my kid and i hope this passes on to the coming generations as well



Friends of Books - Library that delivers and I connect with bloggers at BlogAdda.com

54 comments:

  1. A very sweet post :)) how nicely you pen down some sweet memories that we cherish :)) nostalgia...
    A perfect post for the contest :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Smitha,
    I grew up reading those old russian books that my relatives got from somewhere... It was just before the "soviet union" era when we used to cover our notebooks with the best quality paper in which "soviet union" was printed... I don't know whether you've seen one.

    Well.. that was so nostalgic to see some books like those... We had another book by Arkady Gaidar... Jeevitha Vidyaalayam (The school). I had lost that book once in college and got it back later from the hostel after 4 years!!!.. I hope you understand the associations with such childhood books. The rest of the books were "vaiki janicha kunjanujan", "manja chaayamadicha veedinte rahasyam" "ente chettan clarinet vaayikkunnu" "kolya" etc... if you have any of thsoe books.. please let me know... would like to read them again...

    Thanks a lot for this post..

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Bijuneyyan,
    Thanks a lot for your comment..As u mentioned even i lost many of my books and these were the only ones remaining with me...2 years back i spotted this in my native before it was thrown to trash :(

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wonderful post.. Have you read other Arkady Gaider books? like chuk and gek? Please check the below link. Select English under the book tab.

    http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/

    Chuck and Geck
    Timur and the squad
    The school.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wonderful post. Have you read any other books by Arkady Gaider? like chuck and gek, Timur and the squad.
    Check the below link and select English the tab Books. You will find many books there.

    http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks a lot Nishanth..
    I haven't read any other books..but will surely try to now..Thanks a lot for sharing the book names..

    Am a great fan of Arvind Gupta..Along with books (which i havent browsed much) , u will find very cool science experiments and toy making sessions..

    ReplyDelete
  7. I had a collection of Russian Nadodi Kadhakal called " Rathnamala". Now missing :(. It was all innocent stories I grew up reading these books.

    I had sent a mail to Progress press and Russian Centre Trivandrum. Let us hope they old books.

    Cheers,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still have my copy with me. Do you want a copy?

      Delete
    2. Can u please send a copy?

      Delete
    3. rathnamala is a great book. is it possible to get a copy?

      Delete
  8. Woww..That would be great..Nishanth,let me know once you get information from them..Even i would like to buy all the older editions if available..

    None of the new books in market has the same quality/content available in those books..If possible can you send me the contact details of Russian Center?

    Do you have a blog? U seem to be a nostalgic..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. could you plz tell me from where it is gettable the back copies of poompata,balarama ??

      Delete
  9. Sure I will let you know if I get a reply and you are very right no books can match our old story books. Even our Balarama and Poompata has lost the touch. Sad :(

    I don't have a blog. I am nostalgic. I am working outside India maybe that is the reason. You will only know the value of something when you are away from it.

    http://www.russiancentre.in/index01.html
    http://www.progresspublishers.com/Contact.htm

    I can give you my mail id if you want.

    Cheers,

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yeah Nishanth..very true..Balarama is still thr but the quality has degraded a lot..Poompata is out..very sad..

    Thanks a lot for the links..

    As u r nostalgic ,i thought u might be hvg a blog..if not u can still start one..its worth it..u get mny like minded people including me following ur blog..

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hehehe.. Will give it a try.

    Anyways I read blogs a looot. There is this blog by a guy name Aravind. You should try it.

    http://arkjagged.blogspot.com/

    Cheers,

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nishanth..Do let me know when you start one..Arvind's blog looks good:)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nice article. Brought back some nice memories. Around the period mentioned (mid to late eighties) there used to be the "House of Soviet Culture" in Vanross Junction, Trivandrum. It housed an excellent library (in the underground too!) with books on all topics and as a young child then, I used to take them out, of course not knowing their true worth...until it was too late!! The lifetime subscription was something like Rs 2/- or so, negligible even on those days.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Hari,
    I didn't know about this library. We used to get books only when some sales guys come and sell the books.But we had a good Municipality library in the neighborhood with lots and lots of books and with minimal rent.All the books would be dusty but if you love books, that may not be an issue. Now the library is closed. :( Last time when I went to my native, I heard this from my mother that very few people were taking membership so finally Municipality guys decided to shut it down. Bad fate :(

    ReplyDelete
  15. Buy Chuk n gek from here..

    http://buy.mathrubhumi.com/books/bookdetails.php?id=374

    Nishanth

    ReplyDelete
  16. You can now buy Chuk and Gek from the below website.

    http://buy.mathrubhumi.com/books/bookdetails.php?id=374&cat_id=13

    ReplyDelete
  17. Nice write up!!.

    That was incidental, that I saw this blog.

    I was just searching for the books published by Raduga publishers, and Progress Publishers Moscow and I got some.

    Anyways, All the best
    rajaramvasuydev.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. i was searching for some old books which i used to read during my childhood. among those rathnamala stands out, stil remember the story of mrigakumaran, story of the wind etc; I am also in search for a book named "RONI", its the story of a dog named roni. sadly dont remember the author and publisher. :( Smitha, liked ur blog so much, I still remember the day i got a library membership. My dad got me one when he saw me having a fight with my bro for a toy. I also got one book on that day, which is "Kannan kakkayude kausalangal". I read the book roni from the library. another favourite reads were Misha (another russian magazine), poompatta, balarama and eureka.
    BR,
    unik

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rathnamala is my all time favorite. The stories are etched in my mind forever. The pictures of the stories that I have drawn with my own imagination is like evergreen in my mind. I have read it some 15-20 years back.

      Delete
    2. yep. sorry was way too busy. btw, I got the book "Roni" about 3 months back. Found that while searching for some other book. http://buy.mathrubhumi.com/books/mathrubhumi/children's-literature/bookdetails/1298/rajuvum-roniyum

      Delete
  19. Thanks unik.

    I recently subscribed Eureka for my kid. But the quality of the magazine has come down very badly. Price remains the same.Instead they should have increased the price and retained the quality of articles in the magazine. Looks like there are not much readers for Malayalam magazines in Kerala now.All the kids are moving to English and it's so difficult to get good Malayalam story books in Kerala.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I coudn't agree more. sad that our kids are not getting the same quality ( i mean content wise) of books. there was a time when I eagerly waited for eureka. Some stories like " the world of numbers" and those scientific fact ones. I read Oz and doroty for the first time in Eureka. dear lord, I wish I get all those books back including the N number of copies of Misha. :'(

      Delete
  20. Hi smitha my self shafeek.. i am also having a good collection of russian books especially written by Arkady Gaidar..
    Have u remember the books 'JEEVITHAVIDYALAYAM', 'CHUKKUM GEKKUM'..
    kindly give a mention about other russian books u r having...

    my mail id is 'shafeektv@yahoo.co.uk'
    MY phone no is '9741240264' PLS CONTACT

    I am in search of 'JEEVITHAVIDYALAYAM' english version 'SCHOOL'

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Shafeek,
    I don't have any other books. :(

    ReplyDelete
  22. hi smitha ,this is anish and I have a complete collection of balarama for the last 25 years.I was read chuck and gek before 15 years in labour india and today I get the book through mathrubhoomi books.nice book try it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Anish,
    Good to hear about your collection. Balarama now is not as good as the older version. I will check out Mathrubhumi too.
    Thank a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  24. hi,smitha this is anish and today I am telling about another nostalgic and adventurous book that is "THE ADVENTURES OF TOMSOWYER AND HUCKLEBERRYFINN" kindly check it today and is also available in malayalam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These books are published by PAICO publishers and I was the editor. They were republished again in 1993-94.File copies are with me.
      Russian story CHUKKUM GECKUM was published as comic strips by me in 'Eureka Children's Science Magazine' during 1981-82. Illustrations are by Artist Vijayan Neyattenkara.

      R. Gopalakrishnan

      Delete
  25. hi smitha i got the original "jeevithavidyalayam" published by Prabhath Book house...

    Can u give "neelakkapu " of Arkady Gaidar to me for reading in exchange of "jeevithavidhyalayam"

    Shafeek
    9741240264

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks Anish for your suggestion.

    Hi Shafeek, I am not interested in the exchange.Thanks and sorry for the same.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Smitha, I am Sajid
    Very happy to share your enthusiasm. Among those books the one I love is ACHANTE BALYAM by Alexander Raskin. Recently I got the English version of that book from an old book shop, Tvm. I felt that the Malayalam translation was more charming! All these books were infact directly translated from Russian to Malayalam. Another book was "Steppyudeyum Malakaludeyum Kathakal" (TALES OF STEPPES AND MOUNTAINS by Chingiz Aithmathov.

    It was really delightful to see that covers of Neelakkappu and Theryocheshka. thanks. take care. Sajid

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi.....

    There is a FB page for Russian Literature.

    Please type "aa pazhaya Russian Pustakangal" in google.

    I have started a google group for Old Russian Books And I have a good collectiion of PDF books.

    If you would like to join, Plz provide your email id.

    On a seperate not, is it possible to scan and share your collections too

    Regards,
    rajaramvasudev@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi Sajid,
    That is a good news.Now it's difficult to get good books with good stories :(

    Thanks a lot Rajaram. Will surely join now. I love Russian books.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Smitha,

    Please find below Links which includes "Teryocheshka".

    Also Request you to please join "Soviet_Books@googlegroups.com" where in I have uploaded around Eleven books

    Regards,
    Rajaram

    സിന്ദൂരപുഷ്പം
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150164946729399.304888.519349398&type=3
    വെള്ളത്തിനുപോയ മൂഷികൻ
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150164129119399.304492.519349398&type=3
    ഒന്നിനും കൊള്ളാത്തവന്
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150164088559399.304473.519349398&type=3
    തെര്യോഷെച്ക
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150157954864399.302207.519349398&type=3
    കളിക്കോപ്പുകൾ
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    ധീരനായ ഉറുമ്പ്
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150139977154399.300418.519349398&type=3
    നല്ലതേത് ചീത്തതേത്
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    മഴവിൽപൂ
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    general
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150253057354399.341674.519349398&type=3

    ReplyDelete
  31. Can you also please scan and share the books??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will try as I don't own a scanner :(

      Delete
  32. Hi....iam in search of my childhood favrt "Kuttikalum Kalithozharum "By Olga Pirovskaya.pls help ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Muraleedharan,
      Even I am in search of many books, few of other bloggers who commented here mentioned that few books are available with Mathrubhumi publishers. You can please check the above comments

      Delete
  33. Achante Balyam by Alexander Pushkin, jeevitha vidyalayam by arkadi gaider, kuttikalum kalithozharum by a russian novelist(name not remember). Those days were special for us everyone. I am living in Trivandrum and now at Vazhayila.
    I lost all that books. But The interesting fact is that Some(4) of the russian people living with us for 20 days, because my brother in law married a kazakh girl
    and I share these book knowledge with them. They all know the writers and books and they are interested. The girls name is Sania Bainazarov
    Regrds smitha. My name is Rojilal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good news, will they be able to get you copies? The books are really nostalgic and superb editions. Even I have only 2 as I mentioned. You can read the above comments as few have scanned the books too.

      Delete
  34. Stumbled upon your site while searching for MIR Publishers old technical books. Me too had grown up on reading Russian books. How can I forget chukkum gakkum, first book I borrowed from our nearby library. Most of these books are now available as free downloads. They are collectors item nowadays. I am planning to look in some old bookshops in Kerala and get some old books for my son.See www. mirtitles.org for another site for old Russian book lovers. Regs.. Dinesh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So nice of you for commenting here. Those books were the best and if you can get them again, then the best as I am sure such books such quality and content is not available nowadays. Hope you get them in old bookshops.Your son will love you for it. :)

      Delete
  35. hi, i've read neelakkappu as a small child and there is no other book that i've ever loved that much. I can recite from memmory every incident that happened during the journey of the father and daughter. Today i was feeling especially nostalgic for the book and decided to search for it on the net. the first result that i clicked on lead to your blog. I'm so happy i found this one. i still have the book though it does not have a few pages in the first and last. my book ends where Fyodor eats the honey pancakes and goes to hide in bushes. But i do remember the end where fyodor's mother gifts them a cat. There is a picture of the father and daughter lying down in the orchard no? I just love that picture. And then there is the part where they imagine things after looking into a big hole and how they gather flowers from a meadow. And Sharik and Polkan and the march of the red and white soldiers. I've always carried memories of that book in my heart. Glad to see someone else who love the book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so nice to hear Blue Rose. Even I am really nostalgic about all these books.Nver found such good books with such quality, content and superb illustrations. So sad that they stopped printing them. Our kids are missing all those fun.I am really happy to read your message. I can feel your love for the book.

      Delete
  36. Please visit my blog

    www.booksofsovietunion.blogspot.com

    Regards,

    Rajaram

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so nice of you Rajaram. Hope it's useful for many.

      Delete