The office library has been extended, and brand new books have been placed upon bookshelves. What pulled me inside the library was a view of the lined up stack of the P. G. Wodehouse Omnibus. The communication about the extension had come across, somehow, my laziness kept me from visiting the place. There are books by Toni Morrison, Elizabeth Gilbert, Salman Rushdie, Jeffrey Archer, Julian Barnes, Erich Segal, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and so many more. I kept looking at the new spoils and my brain kept thinking why I couldn’t read ten books at the same time. Such injustice! They even have Chimamanda Adiche’s book Americanah, and she is an author I have been waiting to read. In those few minutes, I felt like I had fallen in love. Headlong and irrevocable. All over again.
So as to offer myself consolation, I picked up an abridged version of Greek myths. Until now I have read half the stories. There is a particular story about Demeter and her daughter Persephone which has caught my fancy. Although I have always been fascinated by Greek mythology, this little book takes it a notch higher. Till now, my favourite story was about Penelope waiting for her husband Odysseus to return home. I think Demeter and Persephone get added to the list.
Also, I stealthily snuck up on YouTube and watched the trailer of Haider. Though, I am technically not supposed to, I was just too curious about Bharadwaj’s adaptation of Hamlet. I remember reading Hamlet in school. For some reason, I can visualize my senior school library which was atop a high, wooden staircase. There were long wooden tables with bookcases on either side, and almost always, the Father of the school church would be found sitting at that table when the library was empty. When I left my first school to join another, the last trip I took was to that library. Memories of Hamlet bring back that school which taught me to love literature. Back to Haider. I like what the trailer presents. Although dark and morbid, the snow makes it very look extremely fresh. Like there is some sort of redemption in this story of revenge. I hope the movie is as badass as the trailer is. No expectations there. Bollywood is behaving like a lover struggling to leave but can’t say it. Disappointing so much that you’ve got to let it go.
Now and then, I feel indebted to the fact that I can read. I am coming to a place where my love for literature is not only cementing but is also reaching a spiritual level. Not that I know anything about spiritual love, just my imagination of what it would be like. This feeling comes from all the books that I have read and subsequently scattered all over the place – my cupboard, office drawers, N’s office drawer, homes of close friends, given away to old, forgotten loves and to the new one too – all because I don’t have space at home anymore. This also burns the desire in me to have my house, but that is a love affair which will have to wait. Maybe I should have spent more time reading and done just that while growing up. But society and life got in the way.
In a parallel world, I would be frequenting libraries, collecting books, copying quotes from books and writing long love letters to the boy I love. When he breaks my heart, I would scribble poems onto walls and cry into the night, sitting under the stars and finding refuge in all the stories, which tell that me no matter what, life does go on, and we do learn to love again. Time rolls on and we do harvest courage, if we want to. Days pass by, and we get along much better than we hoped to.
Stories are infusions.
Stories are necessary.
Telling them even more so.