Blogging, Books, Life

World of Words Wednesdays – In Retrospect

This post itself is “in retrospect,” or kind of retrospective; as I wonder what I should have done about my blog when I first started it. Maybe I could have done things differently when I started, when blogging itself was new; maybe it might have changed things for me as a blogger. But, the reality is, I was truly a newbie at the time this post was initially published (a decade ago almost!) and had no idea what I was doing (not sure I still do though!)

So here is my In Retrospect post, with minimal edits (I state where I have added things or make a comment):

In Retrospect

As I pulled out this post from the archives to revive, I realized that while the title was ‘In Retrospect,’ I had not really made any retrospective comments at all. But I had thought them then and still do now when these below memories (which are part of my original post) strike me. And those thoughts are towards the end.

Memories of Misha

I was reading an old post my friend had written (Note that as of today, this old post is even older!) where he mentioned Misha (a Russian children’s magazine) and National Geographic as works of art. The title for my post also derives from that post.

Just the name ‘Misha’ evoked many memories for me as well. This wonderful children’s magazine from Russia was available in our school library. When I look back, I am surprised that the school library and the local library in our tiny town (called Harihar in south India) which was miles away from anyplace that could be called a city had such a wonderful diverse collection of books. I read lots of one-book wonders (not sure if that is the term used for where the author wrote only one book which was wonderful at least to me).

Misha was kind of like Reader’s Digest – but for kids – with tales of kids from a land so far away from our little town in the middle of nowhere. It fascinated me that some kid in Russia was reading the same book that I was reading at that very minute. A few years ago, I was telling my then-colleagues who are from Russia about Misha; and how much I enjoyed reading it and they expressed similar sentiments. I remembered being wowed by the thought at that time that my colleague must have been reading Misha at the same time that I was reading it when I was a kid!!  

Note: If I have made you curious enough and wanting to check out the magazine, you can read some issues of Misha online. Here is a link to one:

Other Memories

This also triggered memories of my brother and me visiting the book fair that used to come to our town once a year with Russian books being the main items for sale. This was sponsored by Navakarnataka Publications. I love them for it.

I remember reading the “The Three Fat Men” and countless stories of Vasilisa the beautiful being rescued by Ivan (Ivan the Brave, Ivan the Fearless, Ivan the so on…). There were always three witch sisters who would help Vasilisa in her missions in the story. The stories had people with amazing powers (Each with one power) joining to fight evil (one had wonderful vision, another great strength and a third could hear sounds from across a few miles!). These stories were so similar to Indian mythology yet so different and fascinating.

As I grew older, I bought books like Mother, Anna Karenina. I never got around to actually reading Anna Karenina (plan to read for the Classics Challenge now) though I read and cried for the Mother in Mother.

The classics were a great source of inspiration for me and I spent hours being lost in them – the Bronte sisters, Thomas Hardy, H.H.Munro (Saki), O’Henry, Oscar Wilde,and more authors than I can list here. Some short stories that I can never forget – ‘The Open Window’, ‘The Last Leaf’, ‘Pepe’, ‘Kabuliwala’ (Tagore),and many more.

Those ‘In Retrospect’ Thoughts

In retrospect, I should have saved some of those copies of Misha magazine (as well as other favorites which are now defunct). Maybe I should have written a letter to the editors at the time (I remember I started on one every so often). But here I am today and glad that I at least do have some of the books from then.

Words of the Week

The following two words caught my eye while reading an article on Amy Chua’s controversial book (Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother) and my read for the South Asian Challenge (Fasting, Feasting by Anita Desai – Note: July 29, 2020: you might remember I posted this revived review post a couple of weeks ago):      

  • something that brings disgrace
  • public disgrace or ill fame that follows from conduct considered grossly wrong or vicious  
Ignominy (noun)
  • deep personal humiliation and disgrace
  • disgraceful or dishonorable conduct, quality, or action

It was just a coincidence that both words seemed to have similar meanings


Would You Rather

Today’s WYR

Would you rather only read magazines or only read graphic novels?

I know, I know.. but my brain seems to be on hiatus! Anyway, if I had to choose, I would pick magazines; considering that depending on the magazine, I might have a mini-comic in there to read as well 🙂

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, what were your favorite magazines from childhood? Did you read magazines and books from elsewhere like I did? Any suggestions?

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2 thoughts on “World of Words Wednesdays – In Retrospect

  1. Opprobrium and Ignominy – good words to describe our current state of politics! As for magazine vs graphic novels, I would have to vote for a specific magazine: The New Yorker (articles AND cartoons!)!

  2. Great post! As for magazines I rwadnaa I child I don’t remember too many from that far back. LOL But I do remember the Weekly Reader magazine that was a subscription we got at elementary school.

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