Today wasn’t a “just another day”. Kerala is blessed with heavy downpour during monsoon and of course, students like me blessed with another holiday from the district administration. As the popular joke goes, there will be power disruptions if there is a heavy rain and strong winds as falling off branches from trees and the uprooted trees can cut the electric lines, similarly, there will be no power if there are no rains as the water level goes down in the dams.
I was sitting idle, as with no power means no more laptops, internet, tv, mobile etc… (Life is good as dead). Slowly I moved from my study where I usually spent hours coding to the “real world”, the world of books.
As I entered my papa’s library room, the smell of old classic books cast a spell on me, I just wanted to spend my entire life in that room with no light or wind making its way into it. I just wanted to read, read, read … I wanted to embrace those books, smell it, read it.
But I suddenly turned nostalgic, to a time when books were my only friends, the only friends to whom I shared my feelings, whom I could trust because they talked to me in the most sincere way they could. They were the only things that I thought about and cared about (frankly). If I went to a story writing competition, whatever be the subject, my central character will be a book ( and those stories always won the competitions unless I tried to bring in a human as a central character). If my papa asked me ,”should I bring you something?”, “Yes, a book”, will come the quick reply.
This close association with my dear, dearest books (I know still my central character is the book, habits don’t change:)) wasn’t a deliberate one nor an accident. When I was born my papa didn’t bring home toys, instead he filled our small home with books (not children’s book, and I really had to reach third standard just to start to understand what it meant!!). In fact, the first and only doll he brought me was when I joined first standard in a new school, and everyone was talking about their favorite cuddling toy and I didn’t even have a doll to boast about.
I lived on the topmost floor of four-storied quarters, with no children of my age in the neighbourhood.As the daughter of a working mom, I was practically alone, with neighbours who would never open their doors. So I think you can imagine, how I resorted to books in the first place as it was the only thing I was allowed to touch other than food when my parents were away (of course TV was the first forbidden item in the list). I would spend hours with a book on the terrace enjoying the sea breeze from Fortkochi beach. There, a book lover is born…
Then I finally had a (human) bestie, Majidha, who was brought up in a joint family and our childhood were poles apart. She, being the elder sister of 2 siblings had quite a busy life with streets full of naughty children to play around with. But she liked the calm and quiet life of mine (not a quiet girl myself…) and I yearned for hers. In our school, where we had more free periods than study hours, we would go to the library, take a book, take turns to read out each page, discuss it and we will critically analyze those books written by great authors. Well, this was the only game we played. Thus she made me fell in love with my life.
Then life changed a lot, two years of intense coaching for engineering entrance, finally college. While in college I found the love of life, programming. I was completely into it, I forgot about books who were my best friends. As I’m having a crush on coding, I did everything to please my crush. Except for newspapers and blogs, I never really read anything.
Still standing in papa’s library, moving my hand on those old collections, I was feeling guilty. Am I becoming just another girl who ditched her best friend just because she found a new friend who was able to make her future secure?
I should start reading again, thought myself. And the power came back, charged my laptop and ordered some fresh collections of books online. I could feel the naughty wink of minimized programming IDE window in my laptop …