Of Books and Newspapers

In my family, we have a practical habit which has now become a tradition, which is that of covering all our books with old newspaper. Well the newspapers to begin with are all quite new and glossy but time soon does its magic and they take on that yellowish tinge that we are so familiar with. A glance at the bookshelves is always a pleasing array of bits of colours and text which is just so homey. My favourite part is the ability to glance at the books with their titles hidden behind their covers but still know exactly which book it is just by looking at it! Infact every time I pick up a book to read, I also inevitably glance through the newspaper cover to read the articles on them. We invariably use the Sunday Times Life edition as covers so there is always something quite interesting to read and a glance at the date also brings back back some nostalgia. However, as nothing lasts forever, eventually after some years have passed, we are forced to take off the faded and ragged covers and replace with new ones and then the cycle begins again. It is quite a herculean task this, replacing every book cover and I’m quite glad that I have given up numbering and labeling them as I did when I was a child. So as the dreaded task approaches me, I decided to take a moment to celebrate it, and reflect on the eternal temporariness of life, how everything always does come to an end (a sentiment expressed in the Sunday Times Life today :P). Until next time, Cheers!

 

Summer Day

The summer heat beat down on the ramshackle old car as it moved along the road, squeaking and squealing every step of the way. The driver, a woman, had come a long way and was now looking left and right seeming to be searching for something. She brought the car to a halt, took a deep breath and wished that the heat would subside. Taking a sip of water from the bottle beside her, she scanned the area around her from behind the dark glasses she wore. She was certainly nearing civilization after travelling through deserted roads for hours, but this was not the end of the journey. She was just looking for the turn she needed to make in her journey, trying to make sure that she didn’t make a mistake. There seemed to be no road signs to guide her, it looked like she was hopelessly lost. There was no other option but to ask someone for help. She got out of the car, wondering which of the handful of houses to approach to ask for directions. She was suddenly filled with despair for reasons she couldn’t quite explain. As she hesitated, as if in answer to a prayer, there was a deep rumbling in the distance and the skies were suddenly overcast with dark clouds. A thunderstorm approached, driving away the heat and replacing it with cool winds and the first drops of rain. As the smell of wet earth engulfed her, she smiled. It didn’t matter anymore that she was lost, she was just content to enjoy the moment and trust that just like there was a way to cool down a summer’s day, there would also be a way to find her way.

A Saturday Morning…

I wrote this a long time ago on the back of a bus ticket printout. Just found it recently while cleaning out my desk, so thought I’d put it up here..

I sit alone in an empty restaurant on a Sunday morning and just watch the world around. Traffic goes by easily, for there is no rush on the blessed weekend. The sun shines brightly today instead of the incessant rains of the week gone by. I look back on the week gone by, last Saturday at this time I was on a bus on the way to Pune, a journey of only three short hours but a place that is world’s away from this one. I almost felt like I was going back in time; the closer I got to Pune, the more clearly I could see before my eyes – my life of three years.

In the quiet I can hear the hum of the air conditioner with the occasional sounds from the kitchen. Now they decide to put on some music, nice and slow just like the day. There is an ancient tree outside which actually blocks part of the road but nobody has bothered (or should I say dared?) to cut it down. Its as if the tree holds its own against this world of constant change and remains resolutely firm in the face of danger. It’s scarred and drooping branches reach all the way across the road and offers its shade to all. And now the quiet of the restaurant is broken by the loud and carefree voices of schoolchildren who argue heatedly about the burgers, fries, choice of sauces and drinks. You can’t help but smile at the innocence of the young.

I often think that the very young like the very old have the uncanny ability to see through the trappings and go straight to the truth. They pick up all the vibes around them, a lot of which depends on their parents with whom they spend most of their time. Children will imbibe all the good that they feel and repel all else. Even later in life, we come to resent certain manner of things without any particular reason for doing so; it is basically our subconscious that reminds us that sometime in our life we have seen something similar and not liked it.

Now there is a man who want his takeaway order and fast. He makes a few quick and impatient phone calls, all the while drumming his fingers on the table that is his temporary sanctuary. At last he collects his package and is on his way, leaving behind, in his wake, a trail of energy. How some people can be so constantly charged up, beats me!

And now comes the food, just as good as I remember it! There something very indestructible about food, it always lasts, no matter what. Food makes everything just a little bit better, a little less worse, a little more bearable, and basically you get my drift. And since my focus has now shifted to this delightful burger before me, I bid adieu. Until next time then, cheers!

Sleep!

I just discovered that it is just as hard to try to fall asleep when you are wide awake as it is to try to wake up when you are fast asleep! I never in my life imagined that this would be the case, being as fond of sleeping as I am. But its true nevertheless, I woke up at 3 am today and spent an hour trying to go back to sleep and I could not. So having thus woken, I have spent a delightful hour reading about ‘How To Measure My Life’ and other such interesting articles. Not a bad start to the day after all!