Hello, all you beautiful people. May your new year bring hope and resilience. That is my wish for myself and for everyone. Did you all make any new resolutions? Mine is to lower expectation from others. Bhagavat Gita tells me that is a path to being happy. I have started reading the holy book in the new year – one page a day.
This blog is to wish you all a happy new year, of course and also to tell you about my story of anticipation. A few weeks ago I was given a gift card to a book store. Whenever I think of the gift card, I get this surge of happy anticipation in my heart. Oh the possibilities!! Which book am I going to buy? Which book is a keeper? I drive by the book store almost every other day and each time my face breaks into a big smile.
I work at a library so I have books at my fingertips – literally. When I was a child, my mother bought me books, many, many books. I used to be sick almost all the time. To cheer me up, she brought home books that she picked up on her way back from work. As a teen, I spent my hard earned money buying used books from the very fine make-shift books stores on the sidewalks of Kolkata. Nestled among tattered Mills and Boons and Sidney Sheldons would lie books by Graham Greene, Gerald Durrell. Sometimes Dickens, Hardy, Austen, Jules Verne, Dostoyevski, Hugo….. We were encouraged to read good literature to broaden our horizons and to balance the trashy Harlequin romances which were instrumental in my education about ‘birds and bees’ since my mother never talked to me about any of that 🙂 ! My first date with my now husband was at Kolkata Book Fair. The fact that I did not like him too much that day is a story for another day.
In my before-library days, I used to buy books. So much so that my tiny house is full. I have both Bengali collection and English collection. However, after I started working at the library, I rather like the idea of borrowing and returning unless I find a book that I want to keep. The old habit of buying books and the joy it generated in me, holding a brand new book in my hands, sniffing the pages to inhale the new book smell, hearing the sharp crack as I turn the page – that feeling is intoxicating. The gift card can give me that hit. Yet, I don’t go in to the book store. I hold on to the anticipation of going in, browsing, touching, reading jackets, spending time. I spend time with books at my library so I am not sure why I am looking forward to my time in the book store, but I am. And that is strange yet wonderful. I want to stretch out this feeling of anticipation, my simple pleasure, for as long as I can. When the day is gray and I have plummeted down low, I will make the trip.
I am vacillating between two titles – Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer and The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama.