I am happy today, really! And this happiness is mostly because I found myself happy after getting out of a book exhibition. Usually, it happens that I come out of the book exhibitions sad and depressed. Previously, it used to be such, because I could not buy the books of my choice just because of my low budget, but for the last few years, there had been a strange reason for my post-book-fair sadness. It was no more the problem of low budget, but now I knew whatever I had bought, I could hardly read – for lack of time and more so for the lack of interest! This lack of interest was killing. I have been a kind of bookworm for all my childhood. I remember I used to devour all the textbooks of my sisters who were years ahead to me in school, and not only language books for stories, but I remember reading history, science, and even math books. I still remember my excitement when my father gifted me the Arabian Nights after I passed my third grade exam and Sindabad was the first fictional character in my life. I still remember how I waited for my seventh grade exam to end, because I wanted to read mathematical puzzles book that I had kept hidden in the library itself so that no one should pick it before me; and also the days when I used to read five novels in five days, sometimes even in moonlight on summer nights as we didn’t have electricity in our village back then.
But I lost almost all of this in the last few years. I go to book exhibitions as a drunkard going to the wine bar, sometimes involuntarily, just because I cannot stop myself. I walk through the book fairs; now I can afford buying books, so pick a few of my choice and come out. The books just lay untouched at home. I take them, put my name and the date on the first page, and then put them somewhere to never take again. And this lack of interest kills me the next time whenever I hear of a book fair somewhere in the city.
So as I heard of a book exhibition in Dharampeth today, it was really something that made me excited for a while, but then the thought came –“hope it won’t make me sad again!” All the time I was working, I had a constant thought about the exhibition. I finished work almost one hour ahead of my scheduled time and was now free to go there, but it was raining out heavily and I was in a bit hesitation whether to go or not. A colleague asked me to drop him home and I almost canceled my plan to go there, dropped him at Manewada, and came to Krida Chowk, just a couple squares away from my home. I was just about to reach home, but all of a sudden had a change of mind, turned about, and went all the way back to Dharampeth.
It was quite a small exhibition as compared to the yearly National Book Fair at Kasturchand Park, but still a definitely decent-sized (occupying a two-story block) and nice one than I had expected it to be. There was a nice collection. Don’t know why, there was no light on the ground floor and we had to light our cells to explored thorough the books. It was a dreamy journey. This time, I picked Marathi books, mostly because thinking about the untouched English tomes at home. Out of the whole lot, I picked what appealed me: Indhan by Hamid Dalwai, a novel based on a Konkani Hindu-Muslim social background; Vyasparva, an analytical treatise about the characters of Mahabharata by Durga Bhagwat; and Mitwa, a collection of literary critical short essays by Manik Godghate, Grace – the first two were those I always wanted to read and reading Grace is anyways going to be a treat. I am so excited about reading the books, I am just playing with them, opening and just looking at them, as if I want to sense them in every way possible. I can nowhere sense the lack of interest in or around me that usually grips me after a book fair visit and I am happy, even before actually starting to read, that I am going to read them.
So buddies, wish me the best luck – I’m gonna be on a dream wave this week, with my love, my life, my books! Wish my interest remains intact, rather grow and reach to where it had been; and wait for a few nice posts about this dream journey! See you soon 🙂