Wednesday, 30 September 2015


There are very few things that surpass the smell of books. The fragrance of father's freshly shaved cheeks, the smell of a baby's hair, the whiff of mom's biryani, across the hall...

How often do we encounter with the most wonderful fragrance of a fresh new book now ? I have forgotten it so much so that, the whiff I associate with books is one of the old second hand buys I get for cheaper prices in corner shops. Gone are my days of getting excited of new academic year, new set of text books and note books.. And more importantly, the brown paper cover for each of them.
You remember that ? I know, you remember that. How could we not. Its the most prim and proper thing that gives the books, their perfect 'owned-by-an-Indian-student' look.
They say don't judge the book by its cover. My father used to say, a clean cover of book shows how much you respect the books and how much you are grateful for your education. He would say, you are privileged to get new set of texts and notes every year and blessed for being able to go to school everyday with a lunchbox full of fresh food.

I used to study, sitting on bed. I did have a desk and a chair and a lamp in my well-lit room. But I preferred bed. One day, whilst wrapping my books with brown paper, my father told me how he made a table and a chair for himself from some wood he found outside in the yard. He was fourteen or fifteen then. He said, it was a very happy day for him, for he got a set of furniture from then on to sit and study in, instead of the usual floor in his little home. It was from that day on, that I started using my own desk. I was also fourteen then.

That day, I asked him discreetly,

" Was it difficult without much money around at house? "

" No, not at all. Because then you learn to appreciate things that you can do without it. You learn that money is always a secondary thing. You learn to approach life from its very organic and fundamental sides."

" Did you have toys and stuffs to play with when you were younger? "
" I had better. I had sand and trees and ponds and sea nearby."

" Would you go back to that life if you could?"
" I would, but then I would miss sharing all these with you, my children, don't I?"

I smiled.

I am still smiling.

" Always remember that, privileged are those who have a good life. But the biggest privilege is... to realise that your life is already good."

P. S. :- This is a real life episode. I will forever play it again and again with a smile in my heart. 
Dedicating to my dearest Roonatha (Roona Hafiz), who told me to write about the brown cover while we were talking about our childhood days. Wouldn't have written this, if not for you Roonatha :) 

No comments:

Post a Comment