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A quick tale 202

Unfinished business

Behind the sofa in the living room, where it was too dark for anyone to notice, the half-read books of the neighbourhood were having their annual general meeting. There were Tolstoys, Murakamis, Pamuks, Joyces and quite a few management books whose authors’ names are irrelevant to this story. As with each year, War & Peace opened the day’s proceedings. In his welcome address, he regaled the conference with his favourite anecdote about a young girl who used to read War & Peace to her bedridden grandfather every day. And with each page, her grandfather’s health improved until one day, somewhere near the last chapter, she skipped a page. And her grandfather passed away that very afternoon.

The delegates clapped appreciatively and soon dispersed to attend the various workshops being conducted throughout the day. There was ‘A book is forever, not just for Christmas’ where several books that had been gifted through the holidays aired their angst at the disservice done to them. There was ‘Never been touched’ where books that had never been pried open by eager hands cried their hearts out. The ‘I’m an autobiography, get me out of here’ section was buzzing with books that held the lives of people famous and infamous but had languished for want of readers who looked beyond the photographs. And then there was the hugely popular ‘Borrowed and never browsed’ section which attracted loads of dissatisfied books from the local library who spoke of readers who had not taken the time to plod through the plot and instead picked up a movie version of the book.

The organisers had thoughtfully arranged for grooming sessions where the books could have their dog ears straightened and the coffee stains paled. But by evening, as hard-covers dusted off their jackets and as paperbacks slid bookmarks back in their midst and everyone had vented their hatred of the Harry Potter series (of course, they weren't jealous!), a sense of gloom had descended. The books sulked back into the shelves and bedside tables they came from. Tonight, they vowed, they will make extra effort and refuse to be shut when their reader fell asleep with the pages agape. No, they will not be quietened down until they have been read through. The end.

Comments

Shyam said…
That was sweet! :) Although now I feel guilty about the unread books at home!
Madura said…
:) beautiful.
made me dream about the special moment I had finding the books I used to read 20 years ago, in the same shelves they used to be in Palayamkottai public library. It was a very special moment, as if they were my long lost childhood friends! I even got a little mushy and caressed some of them :) secretly when nobody was watching!
nimbupani said…
AMAZING story. PLEASE WRITE A BOOK (or thousands of them like Wodehouse did). I will buy every one of them!

I especially liked the workshop for books "borrowed but never browsed", I have had several such books! Sigh...
Rach said…
:D Not only will Nimbupani buy your books and gift them as presents, he/she will also READ them :)
Deepa said…
There should've been a group of books that were "Read over and over but were never really enjoyed". Dr. Seuss and the like would be its members.
Swarna said…
what a spin! brilliant writing as ever!
B o o said…
Brilliant one, A! Reminded me of Toy Story. :)
yezdi said…
Too neat...kinda filled me with some guilt as well
Anonymous said…
very imaginative, Excellent
Amrita said…
stil at it...and still good at it!
You write brilliantly!
Wonder if you'll be doing another of your 24 hour challenges again - discovered it a tad bit late.
shakuni said…
different post. nice one.
umm oviya said…
that was great.
and pamuk... understandable why he belongs in that group.

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Married for 31 years, 2 months and 17 days
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Religious rituals everyone of them, carried out
Not one of them, believed in
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Overheard, “At least she had the satisfaction of having lived for her family”


http://jikku.blogspot.com/2005/02/quick-tale-3.html#c111042815438237631

The Saturday Poem

Found this in yesterday's paper. Again, I wish I'd written it.

-a

Now and Then

"Now that I'm fifty-seven",
My mother used to say,
"Why should I waste a minute?
Why should I waste a day

Doing the things I ought to
Simply because I should?
Now that I'm fifty-seven
I'm done with that for good."

But now and then I'd catch her
Trapped in some thankless chore
Just as she might have been at
Fifty-three or fifty-four

And I would say to her
(And I have to bite my tongue)
That if you mean to learn a skill
It's well worth starting young

And so, to make sure I'm in time
For fifty, I've begun
To do exactly as I please
Now that I'm thirty-one.

-Sophie Hannah

Lost in Post

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