Sunday, January 15, 2012

The dusty cupboards

{Fiction}

They say some people leave a mark in our life when they depart from theirs. I have been feeling that lately. Should I blame the inability of not feeling it, to my childhood innocence or my innate incapability to feel things that felt superficial at least to me?  I am yet to find the answer.

But the first sign of realization occurred when I was smaller. I remember the big wooden cupboards in my grand father’s room filled with old books, there were books for every one irrespective of the age and genre. It was my grandfathers style to let people read it only after lot of begging, I guess that made him feel powerful, to let kids beg. And I never felt bad that I am begging either, self respect and ego were alien terms then. Any way when the books are returned with even a single fold his face would turn red with anger. One of the character I inherited from him. Another one is that I never visit a library the mere thought of returning the book haunts me..  Standing before the big cupboards watching wide eyed at those big beautiful books, and inhaling the scent of these was divine. People say new books smell good.. but nothing can beat the old smell of my grand pa’s book shelf..

And then suddenly he passed away, I was unable to cry, I stood beside his calm sleeping figure starting at him. I understood the term “to die with dignity” when I saw his face. It still held his native pride.  Looking around I saw my parents, my uncle and every of the elder weeping. But what bothered me more was that my cousin was weeping too, she was attracting a small crowd around her to pacify her. What did I have, some glances from some inquisitive faces.
Can I assure you that I really did try to cry, I thought of him, the goodness he had shed in my life, my most painful school days, the worst beating I had received from dad, anything that could bring a little moisture in my eyes. But nothing came, there I stood as hard as a rock, staring at him and at times even smiling at my cousin’s silly wailing. Some one took me by hand and took me away from the gathering, they said I was not supposed to smile in such an occasion, while walking away I heard my father say, “She is too young to understand”.

But after a year when I saw the mold and silverfish filled book cabinet of my grandfather, I cried for him, for his passion and my legacy.. Each book had opened itself willingly to me, letting me watch every character emerge from it, I lived with them, I despised the bad, adored the good, I chuckled with them, and somehow somewhere let myself sink deep into it. It was a beautiful dream a dream of endless plots.. endless places.. and endless emotions..  But they are all gone now.. those things that were dear to him, were ignored and forgotten like him and his memories. And they say I am selfish.

After this many years, I can still hear someone or the other say, “You are selfish..”.I try to wake up to reality  but still I reach no where. Life changed, so did people, But I remained the same.. nothing changed me.. no change impacted me.. yet they said I am deluded..
To me, life and books seemed to be similar. I wish to run away and cuddle inside my grandfather’s dusty cupboard and shut myself from the ever changing world.. I wish I would stay still in there unaffected by the filthy life and its twists and turns. If only I could flip back some pages.

Every time I flip the pages in a book, back and forth, a rustic jealousy enthralls me.. How simple it is to go back a few pages, how simple it is to flip them around.. A book always thrills me, a place heaped with books creates an impact that lets me doubt the humanity in me.. Lock me in a room with only books, and who knows I may survive happily..  am I selfish!

48 comments:

  1. its so real that i cant believe its a short story
    i remembered too many things, while reading this
    which i wanted to write on

    You have written very well KP.. I like this style of yours:)

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    1. Hey Pygma dear.. I am not sure where the thin line of fact and fiction are laid too.. the line is so thin that I cant see it too.. thanks for your comment dear..

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  2. "How simple it is to go back a few pages, how simple it is to flip them around" Liked it, it is different again. Brushing with the loss of loved one and the concept of acceptance...and dealing with it in one's own manner. I loved the repetitive use of the word 'selfish' leaves the reader with a desired impact.

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    1. Hi Sam.. Thanks dear.. very happy that the word makes the desired impact!!

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  3. A few things in life are priceless like the moments you narrated in company of your grandfather and the love of books! So well written!

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    1. Hi Rahul.. indeed they are.. and thank you for reading!

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  4. Enjoyed reading this, mashe...the silly wailing cousin sounds so familiar :)) and of course that feeling of keeping something that has slipped away...very well told...

    Of course, I have a few questions for you...

    1) Each time you read a story or book, is it the same story for you? For me, a story is like a river...you never see the same one twice...

    2) "They say some people leave a mark in our life when they depart from theirs." That is definitely very true. But have you also felt the greater frustration or loss when you realize that you hardly think about a loved departed person?

    Keep on writing...as usual, I look forward to your writing...

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    1. Well Hello Mashe.. oh thanks..

      1. Wow what a thought you have invoked.. ofcourse I dont each time I open a book I see different things and I feel differently and may be that is why I go back to them and love to hold on to them and not lend them!

      2. Yes I do.. and I feel bad when eventually their memory fades away!

      Damn.. didnt i mention that this is a fiction..! you have your own ways dont you?

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  5. The mark the grandfather has left is remarkable, indelible. Unfortunately weep and cry on death of person but rarely follow what he stood for.
    Your narration is captivating.

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    1. Thanks a lot Sir and happy to have you here after so long time!

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  6. Sometime I long for locking up myself in a room with some books and just read and have some sleep and have some food and then again return to that dreamy world of printed pages and characters! When I read this one I felt it as your personal scribble....then noticed the label "FICTION"- And that made the difference....it became all the more beautiful! Good work dear:) You are back on track!

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    1. At times.. your comments makes me feel that we are alike.. :)

      Those lines and those alone were my personal rambling.. and is it making it less beautiful now dear? :)

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  7. Do you know what my response is when someone tells me I am too selfish, puff up my chest and say 'I am', 'And a little bit hypocritical too', but I don't need you to tell me that.

    Books, aah, they are a delight sometimes, and sometimes they are just a lullaby. When I see literature, when I am in a book shop, I aspire, I dream of a study room filled with shelves of literature, and I shall have it.

    Nice read.


    Cheers,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

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    1. Oh i wish I was brave enough to puff up and say that.. But I am just shy so I turn away with a smirk! (Smell ego there?)

      Oh Ya books can be a boon and bane.. but once that stage of education passes off.. books does look delicious! done they? thanks for the visit and lovely comment!!

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  8. It doesn't feel like fiction. You sure it is?

    I would gift my children..(yeah...future..I know) a library. Filled with books for all ages, for every occasion, for all emotions. Just like your 'grandfather'. And I will scold if they fold or tear any pages. They need to respect what is dear to them. :-)

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    1. Oh Kunal.. would it satisfy you if I say "Semi fiction?" ;)

      Books are scare now in our time itself.. what would happen when your kids (future..) ones are coming in.. everything would be electronic then.. but nothing can beat the worth of a book!!

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  9. Beautifully written! "selfish", ah..the word they say usually about someone who lives true to conscience. And i too never cry seeing dear ones die. The emotions are always sublime:)

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    1. Thanks dear.. and glad we are alike.. :)

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  10. It can be so difficult to remove the impression of being autobiographical, from one's fictional compositions....
    It was a touching piece of work - it's not the passing away of a person that saddens us the most; rather it's the things that we associate with that person, which really hurts !

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    1. yes Ankur.. you hit the bulls eye there.. for that is what i meant exactly here.. thanks a ton for the comment!!

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  11. படிக்கும் போதே உணர முடிகிறது..

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    1. Thangal Tamilukkum.. valthukkum mikka nanri.. :) (OOps I couldnt get the font right :D )

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  12. AH! You probably are the writer whom I look up to KP. WONDERFUL! What a line. How simple it is to go back a few pages, how simple it is to flip them around. This was a killer!

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    1. And you dear Sahana would be one of those wonders who make me feel wonderful with that lovely comment.. :) thank you dear..

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  13. Now that was something worth reading and lovable too. The flow of the story, and shades of dark emotions and the truth behind them, well no wonder so many readers would love it, considering the love of books ! You write amazing !

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    1. Thanks a lot!! and happy to have you here!

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  14. welcome back,,,
    New blog layout ??? GREEN missing :(
    i enjoyed reading this one, EMOTIONS :) hmm well portrayed in your typical style..
    priceless moments i say !
    keep inspiring :)

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    1. Dear dee.. ah the layout..! so u noticed.. :)
      The spring is over.. its autumn time now.. green to brown :D is it not good?

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  15. Enjoyed reading, good work. :)

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  16. Wow! You are one amazing writer. When I was reading it, I almost forgot the word Fiction you had mentioned at the top. It felt so real. I could relate to that as well as reminded me of so many other things in my life. Brilliant.

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    1. That is because it is Semi-fiction.. Akshay thank u for the visit and ur remarkable comment!

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  17. I have suggested your name for participation in a tell a tale contest. http://intertwinedthoughts.blogspot.com/2012/01/tell-tale-contest.html

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    1. That is so good of u Hariji.. but I just saw the post.. the deadline is almost reached.. so sad i missed it! will definitely try next time!

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  18. You are not selfish at all, infact you are living the dream of your grandfather by clinging to the books and taking care of his old book shelf. People around you would never understand that inner feeling and respect you have for your grandfather until they look at you throught the eyes of the shelf you love so much.

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    1. Hi Elvirah.. thank u so good that u understood.. :) but its fiction.. altough the feeling is real.. :)

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  19. Beautiful and touching. Lovely writing. Such a wonderful connect with your grandfather. Books definitely do have life and we get so attached to them.

    Another one is that I never visit a library the mere thought of returning the book haunts me. - Lovely line. :)

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    1. Hi Raj.. I at times wondered if anyone else felt that way with library! so do u?

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  20. Truly touching, My grand father too had a large cupboard with a lots of book, just one slight variation I stole all the books from him, now they so proudly stand along side in my library.

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  21. Enjoyed reading the post.Some of the scenes you have described are so realistic and I can visualise the book shelf, the neatly arranged books,their smell and range.There is also certain conscious vagueness or elusiveness in your writing that is atonce delectable and difficult to comprehend.The similarity between life and books is well brought out

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    1. Hi Partha.. really really happy that u liked it.. :) it indeed was semi fiction.. so some of them are real.. and thank u for making me feel good about my writing style! :)

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  22. This was a touching post. Right from the beginning to the end of the post, I was so much into it cos it reminded me of a greatest lady I have ever met in my life My AAYI(Grandmaa). Thanks for such a wonderful post.. Keep Writing:)

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    1. Hi "My Never Ending thoughts.." that is a wonderful name for a blog..!
      Anyway thank u.. and as u said these people just leave a big mark dont they?

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    2. Yeah.. U they do.. U r absolutely right:) And Thanks for following.. Take care:)
      *Hugs*

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    3. thank u too dear..! keep writing and keep visiting here.. :D

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  23. Hi Rupertt.. ah so u stole them.. and never returned it huh? anyway the goal is accomplished..! u read what u wanted to.. I hope it feels thrilling..:)

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