Reading clubs again

Reading is a beautiful way to beat the loneliness,

To get windows into worlds which we will otherwise never know.


Tripoli reading clubs


Sunday-Another new member of our reading group. A very learned one. He is a doctorate in law and literature. Picked him up from his house in Gnata, and we all came back sitting in Taj Alam’s Volvo.

Prophet Mohamed’s birthday-Holiday.

Thomas Hardy, Shakespeare and tragedy, he talks about technical stuff. A bit heavy for lay people.

Our discussion went into political science, as I told him about the academic background of my grandfather (Ganesh Prasad Uniyal-Professor of Political science-BHU).

Constitutional law is an important meeting point of Law and Political science, he said.

Many interesting points to learn from this experienced teacher who has lectured in Addis Ababa, Cairo, Manila in addition to many universities in India.

Welcome new member in our reading club.

Discussed a bit about the developments in China. “How can a supposedly communist regime exploit it’s workers to gain profits?” 


Morning walk-reads


There was a bearded lanky fellow, whom I used to sometimes see, reading a book, facing the Mediterranean, as I hit the pavements on the morning runs. This was our Indian ambassador, a philosopher-bureacrat, student of history.

Reading in parks, open spaces, and by the sea, can be an interesting thing.

Today morning, sat at the Memorial Park in Ben Ashor, which was made after the 1986 Reagan US Bombings of Tripoli. They have done up the park again.

Started reading ‘Dancing in Cambodia’ by Amitav Ghosh.

He beautifully wrote of the two slogans which the Khmer Rouge used –

“Power flows through the barrel of the gun”…and ‘You cannot make omellettes without breaking eggs’

What he saw in Cambodia, he had read in Calcutta, in the early seventies.Maoist rhetoric.

As one old Bengali friend, a sensitive human being, a keen photographer and teacher

-Tirtha Das Gupta (TDG) once told me, sipping tea in the School of Fototechnik at Bhogal Delhi,

“The Naxalite movement put the people’s movements back by decades”

I could not understand that much then. But over the years, seeking answers, I have realized how the lumpenization of these so-called progressive elements, the extortion, the bail-out packages by government has actually destroyed the people’s movement.

As my technician  Uday says-(He is from Andhra)- “No one is left now. The movement is in a sorry state.”

Reading those pages on Cambodia, sitting in a park in the morning, listening to the birds,

Reminded me of several such debates in our Indian campuses, Delhi, Calcutta, Hyderabad, Mumbai.

As one student activist once got up and asked in a meeting in Dadar-Mumbai

“What is our legacy?”


Got up, did some dips and situps, and briskly walked back to the house, getting ready for another day of medical work. Reading clubs enrich



About prashant bhatt

A psychologist, interested in mindfulness practices. I practiced medicine as a radiologist for 23 years in India and Libya as a radiologist before shifting to Canada. A regular diarist, journaling since 1983 Reading journal :
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