To read or to watch?

For last 3 nights I have been glued to Star Movies Select channel at it’s 9pm show with some great movies on air with technical, critical and/or popular acclaim.

The first one was The King’s Speech made in 2010 and was recommended by a friend. The film is about the stammer problem faced by King George VI, essayed by Colin Firth and how he overcame it with the help of a speech therapist.

The second one was Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock, made in 1958 – a typical Hitchcock suspense. It is now regarded as one of the finest amongst his work.

The last one was To Kill A Mockingbird – an adaptation of the famous novel by Harper Lee and produced in 1962. I have recently read the book in last few years, having heard of it only a decade or so back.

This book was presented to me by a colleague who knew my preference for reading and when I first tried to read it, I had to abandon it because of its slow moving style as well as unfamiliarity with American culture of that time. I did read it few years back and probably appreciated it more, the film starring Gregory Peck in the lead role stays true to the book and its theme, and is a delightful watch.

The book while released in 1960 was set in middle-1930s USA is an iconic novel which describes the society and its racial prejudice which was prevalent in the country till the civil rights movement in 1960s. But the book also subtly highlights the discrimination against women by their men folk, how the girls and women were expected to behave in the society.

The story is told from a perspective of a 6 year old and how their single parent brings them up by being liberal in their upbringing while teaching them life lessons. The humour is subtle but definitely there and brings relief to a very serious narrative. After the initial few pages it is a very engrossing story-telling and the emotions stay in the memory long after the book has been read.

This book is a must-read and re-read for every adult and learn how to stand upright for truth, equality, compassion in the face of opposition even if one is single man standing with no hope to win the battle. In the present context of issues facing Indian society this becomes even more relevant for common men and women of this country, especially those who have the responsibility by their profession for upholding the rights granted by constitution to its citizens.

I think the book calls for a re-reading once I have demolished the long pile of books by the bedside.

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