Sunday, May 23, 2010

Nostalgia On A Sunday Afternoon


I was watching Malgudi Days this afternoon. Mithaiwaala. Based on RK Narayan’s The Vendor Of Sweets. And that directed my attention to the four volumes of RK Narayans that sit pretty in my shelf and I am yet to read. Sacrilege.

And for some reason, today more than other days, I thought about how they made their way to this shelf. It was on my last birthday. In fact it was the day after my birthday.

It was a Tuesday and I walked into office still giddy from the way my birthday had been such a nice day. And as I turned to my desk with these thoughts in my head, I saw a big red Puma bag on the desk. I stared at it for five whole seconds, trying not to look surprised. I looked around to see if there was someone I could ask if they knew whom the bag belonged to. It certainly wasn’t mine.

No one else seemed to want to claim the bag a whole two minutes later too. So I thought it wouldn’t harm to see what’s inside. I peeped in to find a Puma shoebox. No I wasn’t expecting a pair of shoes to arrive in the post. Unable to contain my curiosity, I decided to open the box. It was on my desk after all, wasn’t it?

I opened the box to find four objects meticulously wrapped in glossy calendar paper with some pretty pictures of Indian festivals. They felt like books. The topmost object had been wrapped in the page marking the month of October. Hmmm, quite symbolic, I thought. And since my birthday was in the month of October AND the box was at my desk, I put two and two together and laid my rightful claim to the box and its contents.

I eagerly unwrapped the objects to find four volumes of RK Narayan’s work. And I instantly knew that the gift was for me and who it was that had sent it. Two people were responsible for these books becoming the pride of place in my shelf. There was only one person I had spoken about RK Narayan to in scattered conversations and it was overwhelming to know that an occasional mention had been remembered.

As I read the handwritten messages in each of the books and a letter that came alongside, I felt a warm smile spread over my face. I hadn't received a call from those two the whole of the previous day and I wondered if I was that insignificant. From there it had flipped over to receiving a box filled with monumental works of RK Narayan and a letter inside! It was quite a shift of emotion.

It was a nice trip down memory lane, remembering that time and how my birthday joy had spilled over into most of the next day. Thanks to those two people, the fabric of my memories is more colourful…

3 Thinkers Pondered:

Manish Mattawar said...

:) I am sure you will be reading it soon...remembering you birthday again and again :D

Priya Iyer said...

definitely feels good to know that such people are there in your life. as you say, it makes the fabric of life and memories more colourful. :)

happy reading! i have read only 'swami and friends' by rk narayan, and it was awesome. i am sure you'll have fun reading his books. :)

Atanu Dey said...

Please read them fast - you will surely love them. Does it have "Swami and Friends" and "Guide"?