A fun filled lunch of leafy greens, cheesy pasta and sesame nonsense, coupled with company that brought back memories of a decade gone by, and triggered nostalgia was enough to satisfy a soul such as mine. The delectable though slightly suspicious looking drink that Shanz prodded to taste at least made yours truly energetic beyond measure..!
Work. and some more work. All was just another regular Friday. Till it struck 6. And I was made part of an adventure I hadn’t had in years. I went book shopping with two enthusiasts! Little did I know how enchanting it could be, how mystical, how sublimely joyous..
What is it about books that I love so much?
Each lover has a description absolutely unlike the other.
The old books stores have treasures undiscovered and old acquaintances that you get breathless upon embracing. As you try to devour the titles from ceiling to floor, and make difficult choices, you are at a loss to leave behind some for another day, its such an ordeal and an utter travesty to have them haunt you for not just hours but days!
There I stood trying to make up my mind, while my friends took out a list and started enquiring about the whereabouts of their objects of desire. I found them amusing while they felt the same towards me. As N continued to keep looking for his listed ones, from one shop to the next and again, eventually we reached one flashy, ‘with it’ bookshop, in an elite neighborhood. AR asked me why I am choosing what I am, what would The Crow eaters teach me about the Parsis or The Bride help me learn?! For him, each of his purchases were for a purpose, they taught him about management, freaky economics, poetry that would be great for conversation fill in the blanks, etc. So why was I randomly picking up anything and everything? To him, I was a lowly female with her romantic ideals of a castle in the air. As he remarked ruefully the importance of success and moolah that makes his world go round. The books he wanted helped him get nearer to his ‘goal’. Happiness he wants from little pieces of paper and trinkets of metals. More power to him! He kept teasing me about how I pretended to want happiness, and not money, but what is happiness, if its not wealth!!?
After waiting and waiting for them to find their shopping list worth of knowledge, I sat on the couch in the corner, an elderly gentleman sat across from me with a copy of Gandhi. He was such a dear old man, and cleared his throat every few minutes, as I sat immersed in Daily Inspiration from Robin Sharma. Aug 30 told me all I wanted. As I shared my find with my new found friend, he said something, “Happiness, my dear, is within you. You carry it with you wherever you go. Same goes for unhappiness. If you find happiness in prayer, its your bliss. If another finds it in his glass of wine, so be it. But understand what I have after a lifetime- carry your happiness with you. Don’t let any person, circumstance, ordeal or place alter you or your state.”
I sat and nodded. He continued on and I wished I could sit there and listen to him as my friends started to leave and he saw them and gave me a nod of permission, bade me farewell and asked me to come back again as he often visited there.
I understood him. His voice resonates in my ears. His kind eyes that looked at me with such compassion. The energy of his words and the truth behind them.
What is stopping you from being the happiest? Does this month make you feel loved? wanted? Or are you indifferent? Do you have one to celebrate with? Or are you alone?
Like each one of us.
But not quite.
I have me.
And it is only she that makes me happy or otherwise.
I find pleasure in books, music, food, friends and a 5 year old.
That is my vision of a perfect valentine’s.
Am I a fool to revel in such un-romantic pastimes.. Or are you one to not?