For the Love of Books!

While the music blasted away in my ears, I noticed humongous black clouds in the sky. Within minutes, it started raining cats and dogs. Even after repeated reminders from my room-mate, I never carry an umbrella in my bag. Today, I cursed myself for this blunder that I love to repeat.

To my respite however, a row of shops were in sight at a stone’s throw. I dashed into the first shop, without caring to check the hoarding on the facade. Once safely inside, I stopped for a second to catch my breath and shake off whatever water possible from myself.

My eyes surveyed around, to familiarise myself with the surrounding. I noticed a small, stout balding man standing behind a low counter. He smiled – a full- fledged genuine smile. It was an antique store that housed vintage- classic books, old artefacts and a lot of dust.

Books entice me. We connect instantly. I glanced at the nearest bookshelf and took a few steps in the direction. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the owner smile and settle down with a newspaper. Reassured, I moved with determination and made contact with one of the shelves.

Sure enough, the books were lined with a thick layer of grime, but I was past caring. Picking them one by one, I scoured for the one that piqued my interest. My hands fell on a book of Greek Mythology. I felt my lips break into one happy smile.

I saw one withered old armchair near another tottering pile of books. I looked over to the counter and the owner was watching me. I pursed my lips and pointed towards the armchair. He nodded. I made myself comfortable to devour the whole book. The time flew by.

Soon, it was evening and the downpour had settled into a slight drizzle. I went upto the counter to bill the book and continue my romance with the words. The owner however was very kind. He asked me if I wanted to keep the book for further reading and return it back on a later date. I assured him that the book will be safe with me and I would return it back.

As we were talking, the door of the shop tingled to announce the arrival of another customer. I turned to look back. I squinted to look at the figure silhouetted against the light in the doorway.

And there I was lying on the floor in my bedroom, awakened by an almighty fall from my bed as I tipped over the edge. I recognised my roommate standing over me with a puzzled look.

What a rude awakening!

However, the weather outside brought a huge smile to my sleepy face. It was raining cats and dogs.


It was a Beautiful Dimpled Smile

It was a beautiful Saturday evening. After lounging the entire day around, I decided I should stretch my legs and haul my lazy weekend ass to a long walk. I put on my walking shoes, plugged some music in my ears and started off.

Not far from where I put up, is Cafe Coffee Day. It is one my favorite cafes, has earned quite some fame in India. I found myself a small table in a cozy corner, plonked down to relax with some cold coffee and a sizzling brownie.

Within seconds of settling down, I felt a tap on the shoulder. I looked around and I see a person sheepishly smiling down at me. I removed one of my ear plugs and raised a politely inquisitive eyebrow. She pointed down to my shoes and paid a nice complement.

I mumbled a small thanks and gave a swift smile in return. I made to plug my ear phone back. I like some alone – time, once in a while. By the looks of it, this stranger was not yet finished. She looked on with a half hopeful smile with pursed lips. Tiny bit annoyed and sighing slightly, I unplugged both my ears.

She smiled again. A smile that flashed her dimples. I felt my irritation ebb away. I am partial to the smile that is accompanied by dimples. She gestured to the chair in front of me and inquired if she could join me. I gazed all around the café to reiterate to her that there were a few unoccupied tables that she could use. She flashed those dimples again, shifted her weight from one leg to another. It took a moment for her to answer, finally saying that she was looking for some company. I gave a small laugh and straightened up in the chair that I was lounging in. Uncrossing my legs and with a resigned smile, I waved in the direction of the chair.

She looked relieved. She quickly made herself comfortable. We introduced ourselves and made small talk until her order arrived. It was then that she really got talking. We talked for hours – about movies, politics, India’s socio – cultural problems, finance, photography, relationships. There was something about her that was quite uninhibiting and the fire soon caught on to me.

It went on. Over three more cups of coffee each and not – so – small bites to eat. We exchanged numbers and promised to stay in touch. It was such a random but a meaningful conversation.

Have you ever wondered how random strangers seem to understand you so much?

Scary won’t do. Nope. Nada.

There are innumerable instances in your life (almost daily in mine, I would like to call myself very expressive you see) when your eyes pop out in excitement, mirth or bewilderment. But as they say, there are two sides of the same coin – almost always.

So quite a lot of times, one might have had to cover her eyes, so as to keep the scary/tacky/cringe-worthy view from getting to her and occupying that recurring part of her brain. That wily part of brain which keeps playing the same dreadful frames over and over again. Even when you close your eyes. Very much in the vein of a film reel – in the slightly cramped place between your eyeballs and eye lids. *shudders*

I avoid horror movies at all costs for the same rationale. I tend to wake up to even silence on the nights that I have watched a horror movie. Then my active imagination makes the most static of things move and sway which creeps me out and my sleep evades father away. I also shirk from sordid looking things. More so, because often the next meal I have, seems to miraculously morph into the some shape/texture/colour that bears an uncanny resemblance to the video/photo/scene witnessed earlier *yuck*

Quite recently, I was disgusted by a thumbnail image of one particular video that was trending quite a bit on my FB feed. It said something to the effect of “Side Effects of Using XYZ Shampoo”. I never actually got around to seeing the video to check out if it was the real deal. The image in the thumbnail was extremely repulsive. Even while I am writing this down, I feel nauseated as my mind invariably brings it to the forefront.

And then there is something that happened only today. I was out for lunch with my colleagues – Nazrin and Chitransh. Chitransh recently developed Ulcers on his tongue, rendering him unable to swallow anything remotely spiced. This got us talking about most excruciating medical problems that we had experienced so far.

Nazrin narrated one incident from her time in college when numerous painful pimples had surfaced on her eyelid. She delved into details of the surgical procedure and the not-so pleasant after effects. Somewhere in the middle of it, I decided I had had enough. Result – Closed eyes and hands over ears.

Wait wait. I just remembered another one from a couple of months back. I had a sleepover at my place with a few close friends on a Saturday. We slept late and woke up late. We cooked brunch and then decided to watch a movie – even did a quick vote. To my horror of horrors, it came down to a horror movie – Evil Dead 2 to be precise.

I sat right in the middle of the bunch, keeping all my options of bolting accessible for when the scare got out of hand. But the movie was more gore than horror and my hands often flew to eyes, because just shutting my eye-lids close wouldn’t suffice!

Aaah. Some memories.

This post was inspired by Daily Post.

Stay With Me

He walked in into the driveway of his home.

“That after game discussion took unusually long today” he mused.

Wincing slightly as he climbed the stairs on the porch, he cursed under his breath. The leg had started troubling again.

He walked into the dimly lit sitting room of his cozy little house. He squinted until his eyes adjusted. And there he saw, sitting on the comfortable leather sofa was the woman he loved, his partner for last 53 years, his companion in the journey of life. His wrinkled face automatically broke into a smile which was reciprocated from the other end.

He walked to the sofa, to her. He bent to kiss her lightly on the cheek as she inclined her face towards him. “It still makes her smile affectionately” he thought as his hand lingered to caress her hair for a second.

She shifted a little, so that he could sit next to her. He sighed slightly as the weight on his knees shifted in the process of sitting. He settled next to her and put his arm around her.

She pressed the play button on the remote in her hand. She gave him another happy look as if to say “Stay here with me”. The collage continued in a myriad of frames and colours. It was familiar, he had seen it before.

On the screen, it was them. Younger. The scene was from their wedding. All smiles, laughter, little bit of teasing. Next up, the screen played the moments when they bought their first car. The frames kept shifting to depict the timeline of their lives – together. Their kids, birthdays, anniversaries, graduation days – small clips from all the important events.

He looked at her. He saw a tear escape from the corners of her eye. He immediately took her face in his hands. He hated to see her cry. She sniffed. And continued to smile up at his face, lovingly.

He shook his head, forbidding her to cry. She gave a small laugh and turned towards the screen again, this time holding his hands in hers and resting her head on his shoulders.

He spoke, “What do feel, when you see yourself, us in those frames?” “Happy” she said. “I feel happy, I have lived a full life, had amazing companion in you. I am satisfied with everything in life. We have great kids, who have great kids. They respect us, care for us. We have lived respectfully. Life has been good with you”.

She raised her head to give him a light peck on his check. He smiled. “His smile is still so beautiful”, she thought.

Inspired by the Daily Prompt

Paint a Picture?

First – like so many of my fellow bloggers, I have made a mental note to self to post at least once a week. From past couple of months, the writer in me has really been prompted by only the Daily Prompts. But hey, this is a start, right? A good one? Well, I certainly would like to believe so.

I always and without fail, always have a lot of commotion in my mind which also includes my daily dose of day – dreaming. But given the scenarios in my life right now, it is actually in a clutter. So, there are even more thoughts wading and zig –zagging their way through already engaged grey matter. My frame of mind on a canvas would be chaos too.

There will be a lot of lines. They will be criss – crossing and angling in all plausible directions across the length and breadth of the canvas. Varying in thickness and intensity of the colour black. These depict all the parallel thought processes, sorted according to the priorities and enormity of the situation. The setting of all of these would be a dense cloud like element – dark and foggy.

But all the seriousness and obscurity will be very adequately punctuated with tiny sparkles of sunlight, butterflies and flowers littered around the canvas. The dash of liveliness stands for a huge and much-needed reprieve from the boredom of murk.

On a personal note – work is improving. It is not at its best, but definitely loads better. Hopefully all the other troubles will sort themselves out in due time.