God, when you chiseled a raindrop,
How did you think of a stem,
Bearing a lovely satin leaf
To hold the tiny gem?
How did you know a million drops
Would deck the morning’s hem?
A book and a cup of tea. Isn’t that a delectable combination? A book and a cup of tea, or coffee, or hot chocolate …On a sunny day or a sulky one, a windy day or a wintry one, a book never says goodbye.
It’s raining today and I am ensconced in that warm chair-swing in the balcony. I watch the sky celebrate, extend my hand and feel it on my palm and smile as a few raindrops caress my face.Opening my eyes, I watch the steam from the cup of tea, rising with eagerness, forming shapes, trying to reach for the sky but then slowly it gives up and accepts its fate.
Finally, as if following a sacred ritual, I turn my attention towards the book in my lap and run a hand over the cover. It wasn’t a new book. Rather, a very old one. Borrowed from the British Library.
Turning the book over in my hands I wondered how many people must have handled it. To the unseeing eye, it was only an old, tattered book, unworthy of any praise. But a lover would know its worth. I wondered how many stories it held, apart from the printed one.
How many moments it treasured?
I loved reading for all those well known reasons- for visiting unknown places, for the new eyes, new adventures, new friends, the knowledge, the wisdom. I loved the musty smell, the sound of a flipping a page, the feel of a book in your hands. I love it all!
But I love reading a borrowed book most. I love reading the tales hidden in them. Faded covers curling at the edges, browned papers. Finding a dried petal or flower in between the page reminds you of some stranger-friend. Words scribbled on the edges and careless doodling. Favorite passages marked and dog eared pages!
A stain here and a stain there, telling stories within a story. Chocolate marks, candy wrappers, names of lovers scribbled in tiny hearts drawn at the corner of a page. How many stories could a book tell? And how many could you read?
And then as my gaze wander, so do my thoughts. I look up at the clouds and start giving wings to their shapes. Then, I wonder about you.
Do you love the rain as much as I do? Do you too like saunte
ring empty roads? Does the sunset leaves you awed too, every single time? Do you love making castles in the sand? Do you enjoy talking to the birds? Do you find humor where most people don’t? Are you as crazy as I am? Do you too hate the world at times? And then learn to love it again? Do you like to eavesdrop on the wind whispering to the trees or pen speaking to the paper? Do you sit alone and relive memories? Do you get goose-flesh when you see the rainbow? Do you ever feel lonely in the crowd? Can you too sea the fire in the sea? Do you feel the evening breeze caress your hand? Does spending time with people below seven and above seventy mean anything to you? Do you look at the stars and wonder…?
Poetry? Long walks in the rain? Dancing? Calvin and Hobbes? Kishore Kumar? Clapton? Dcfc? Star wars? Beaches? F.R.I.E.N.D.S.? Duck tales? Fox’s wedding?
The rain has stopped and the scent of earth pulls me out of my thoughts. Petrichor! Sighing deeply, I look at my book and smile. It had waited patiently for my return. My companion amidst lonely crowd.
So would you still ask me why I find in it my solace?
Yes it’s true… a good book can change your life.
So which one has done it for you? Do leave your replies in the comments!
Some books that have had a positive impact on my life are :
- Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five Series. (Because this was my door to the world of fiction)
- Jeffery Archer’s The Prodigal Daughter.
- Tony Robbin’s Awaken the Giant Within.
“As the sea swallowed the sun once more, a tear fell from her eye and dissolved into the sand beneath us.
“What is it, why the tears?”, I asked
and with a smile that nearly leaped across her cheeks,
she answered: “Here comes the moon.”
I knew that moment that it is and always will be the simple things that plant the most phenomenal truths inside us.”
– Christopher Poindexter
This is the magic they call technology that sitting here in a bus while reminiscing about my very first train journey, I am writing this post. I had travelled by train for the first time almost a decade ago. Well not really, because I have been on a train even before that but I was so young that those memories are fuzzy.
But I remembered a few moments ago that I had written something about that decade ago journey and now I have successfully retrieved that file. So here goes…
“Train travels are fun, fun, fun; when made under the sun. If that not be the case and one has to travel thirteen hours, majority of which are hours of darkness, then it is an absolutely different experience .
Pity I never knew this before the train started moving. When I say it is a different experience, I do not mean that it’s a bad one. Let’s just say a writer would enjoy the day journey and a poet would love the night.
Since this was the first time I was inside a train, I was too excited to retch over the malodour from the ‘latrine’ or the dirty curtains or the paan stains in the corners. My lips were zipped and my head would have done a 360 if it was possible. Thrilled to the core, I looked around at everyone, making mental notes of their actions, looks and strange (in some cases disgusting) behaviours. Some of these people smiled back at me while others glared, muttered something and looked away. Half an hour later the excitement started waning and it was completely smothered when a child in the neighbouring berth started crying so shrilly it hurt my ears. I would have understood if he would have been anywhere up to five years old but he must have been around twelve and I had to stifle the urge to ask him to shut up.
All this reminded me of a friend who would never endure such things and the thought of her face in the exact situation made me smile. Power of friendship!
At about 10.30 p.m. people began climbing their berths and started switching off the lights. I have never been able to sleep before one a.m. so I took aid of a dim light to read the book I had brought along. Around midnight, I turned for a ‘good-night’s-sleep’. But, alas!
I have no problem climbing up to my berth but then I notice the six feet difference between me and the floor. Already resentful at having to give up the window, I look down and my stomach starts rumbling as the phobia creeps in.
Somehow I lie down, shut my eyes and try sleeping. But the constant joggling hampers any kind of sleep. So with some hope and much understanding of the fact that I still have ten good dead hours of the night to pass, I stuff the earplugs into my ears. After what seemed like eternity I checked my watch just to be shocked that only an hour and a little more had passed.
Cussing under my breath, I blame my frigging self for insisting on this many wheeled transport. In my defence, train travels had always been described so amazingly in books! Finding no respite, I leapt down and sat by my slumbering mumma’s head and watched out of the window. The view was superb.
Nope…actually there wasn’t much of a ‘view’. 😦 Just darkness and what I thought were trees. I move and with me moves everything.
For no particular reason I peep at the sky and hold my breath at the beauty of it. Has it always been like this?
The moon was its yellowish colour (which I prefer to its usual white shade). The stars twinkled as if smiling and the clouds all had a mystical touch to them. For some reason, I was comforted by this sight and felt immensely peaceful.
Astra Castra, Numen Lumen.
I spent a long time watching the sky and thinking of nothing in particular.
Then the train started to slow down at Guntakal station. Brightness filled the train.
Here I was in for a shock. It was four a.m. and people were sprawled asleep on the floor. Some of these were in rags, obviously beggars but some of them were passengers.
When the train started moving again I rested my head on the window sill and let the wind slap my face.
I changed my position when I could no longer feel the right side of my face. As I did, I noticed my neighbour who was a young woman who had been incessantly fidgeting. She sat up, jumped down and shook awake her companion who was a young man. The husband/boyfriend woke up, befuddled. When he was fully awake, she made him sit up, sat herself beside and snuggled up to him, closed her eyes and fell asleep. A faint smile played around her lips that said ‘I am comfortable now!’
I thought of a thousand things then. Being able to hold your loved ones whenever you want, is a lucky luxury.
Tired, I then flaked out. I remember waking up with a crick at seven thirty. ‘Damn! I missed the sunrise!’
My head was soon filled with croaky shouts of ‘idly-wada’ and ‘chai garam’ and a lot of common buzzing.
Chai garam was nothing like chai. I missed my green tea.
But the morning sun and the green fields that met my eyes made up for everything. The kid who was crying the previous night seemed very happy stuffing idly into his mouth. The couple was gone and in their place were a group of young men who I guessed by the uniform were students.
Fresh air, a few songs and many photos later we reached Bangalore. Not exactly a dream journey but at least a memorable one. I am not sure if I would consider travelling by train again. The one-hour plane back home was pretty comfortable.”
P.S I have travelled by many trains many times after that but that journey and that couple will always have a special place in my heart.
“Beti” means daughter in Hindi. My uncle and aunt got this beautiful cake for us a few weeks ago.
Letting the daughters of the family feel special and loved without any occasion is such a beautiful idea.
I believe we do not need a particular day to make our loved ones feel special… but still, a very happy women’s day to all the women out there!
The sun rose and knocked,
We left for a morning walk
I saw a squirrel on a tree,
Swear it stopped and smiled at me.
The songs of birds at first light,
The freshness of the day,
The shadows of the early sunrise,
And the clean, crisp air
There is so much to see
The flowers, the birds, the honeybee
The grass under my feet
All of those await me.
But I stay and gaze
At the scurrying squirrel
And his faithful friends
Observing their eccentric ways
One makes a funny noise,
I laugh aloud, it runs away
They go round n round
Scuttle to and fro
Aimlessly digging holes in the ground
When everything else fails,
They chase their very own tails!
That is what they do,
Just like me and you
They save for winter
But never forgets how,
To live for the moment,
To enjoy the now
And that’s how squirrels are clever,
Than humans can be ever!
“Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall”
Read the full poem http:// m.poemhunter.com/poem/television/
Even Starbucks knows all about me! 😀
There was a time when I never used to let the sun catch me asleep.
The morning sunshine, the koel’s song or even the rooster’s crowing had a calming effect.
Just let the sun’s first rays adorn your face and brighten your day!
Then I grew out of the habit. Because, life.
After many months, I felt the magic of sunrise again.
The beauty of nature, the tranquility of mornings, is inexpressibly blissful.