Ahh, it's good to be back, sitting at home and not rushing about getting ready for another hospital visit. Both the kiddos are still a bit under the weather, but are in manageable shape. What a rough beginning for the year this has been!
Well, all that time at the hospital did not go to waste as I managed to finish this...
It's a gift for my favorite aunt who celebrated her 60th birthday in Feb. We were to have given her a surprise party in Kottayam when all the plans went kaput due to my Dad's illness. Anyway, it's finished and ready for whenever I get a chance to meet her!
I also got time to read - and I enjoyed going back to one of my favorite series: Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. I currently own five out of the 12-book series. Let me show you what first attracted me to the books:
Yep, I was first attracted by the covers that are wonderful works of art. And once I tried the first book, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, I was hooked!
To give you the background: Precious Ramotswe, a native of Botswana starts the first detective agency in Gaborone. Mma Ramotswe is "traditionally built" (oh, how I love that epithet!), extremely observant, kind and tactful - all factors that make her trustworthy and therefore sought after by her clients. She has a highly qualified secretary called Mma Makutsi (whose ambition is to become Chief Detective) and together they solve various minor and major mysteries and problems that come to them.
I'll tell you right away that this is not a detective series in the usual sense of the word. It's more the exploration of a lifestyle, a look into the lives of simple people and their little problems. The overall tone is light and pleasing with a lot of profound truths thrown in. We read a lot about Africa and its life, it's so difficult to tear our imagination away from those usual exotic descriptions and to think of the people there leading mundane lives just like ours. Once, I was talking to an Irish lady who had come to India for research and she told me that she had been totally surprised to see "normal" people leading "normal" lives in India. Till she came here, she had pictured India to be a land of the poor and suffering living in dismal conditions. Of course that was before the IT boom period and I think the outlook has changed a lot now!
Back to the series, Precious Ramotswe's adventures are the perfect remedy for a tornado-paced life. Whenever you need a break from the breakneck speed of daily life, press the pause button, pick up any book of this series and revel in a story that is in no hurry to get anywhere. The author will charm you into understanding that Mma Ramotswe's circumstances are not so different from yours and that you need not run around like a headless chicken to sort out your life.
If you become sufficiently enamored of the writer, you can try out more of his book series (he's a very prolific writer!) like the Sunday Philosophy Club, The 2 1/2 Pillars of Wisdom or 44 Scotland Street. My personal favorite is The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency!