Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Crossword Safari

It was only the other day when having received my much awaited pocket-money, I decided to hit the humble portals of Crossword. For the unaccustomed, I would like to chirp in that it’s an invigorating experience, after a month long hiatus, to rummage through the cream colored leaves of a luscious new paperback. And for an unrepentant bibliophile, for whom I’ll proudly qualify, it’s like discovering an oasis in the midst of the deserts of Arizona. Anyway, off I went striding on a Nagpur safari, a khaki hat perched on my head and my wallet for a gun. For us bibliophiles spending some time in a book shop can be very analogous to a brief stint in Heaven, or better still in a Mughal harem! It certainly won’t be an exaggeration to say that while hunting for the book that would satiate my intellectual appetite for the next coming month, I had no idea that an hour had already elapsed. I could visualize myself as Robert Langdon going after the Holy Grail! It was a nerve racking hunt though, through the Amazon of wood pulp and dog-eared copies of my favorite books. No matter how pleasurable an experience this could be, yet one tragic thing about book hunting is that you are placed in the company of the books that you always wanted to pour yourself into but can’t, perhaps because your pocket ain’t heavy enough to sustain the weight of these volumes. It’s like an individual suffering from loose motion, one who is placed in a sanctuary of meals that he can’t eat, much because his stomach ain’t heavy enough to sustain the weight of all the food. In short, suffice it to say, that I was in a fix. Several books loomed before me, their fresh aroma, like an enchantress, trying to entice me, but I had to choose only one. There on that bookshelf was kept a collection of Wordsworth’s complete sonnets, a volume I really wanted to possess. As I began towards it my eyes caught a second shelf where Keats was awaiting me or the third shelf where Dickens was standing with open arms…All these volumes swirled around my head and I began to feel a little inebriated. I began to look hither and thither, trying with all my might to focus my attention on a single book, but to no avail. Having drenched all my energies, I sat down with a thump on a nearby stool, my face in my hands, like Rodin’s The Thinker.
You must be wondering how I resolved my predicament. Well the simple answer is that I couldn’t. I committed one of the most unpardonable crimes that can ex-communicate me from the Society of Geeks and Bibliophiles; I quitted Crossword without buying a single book. Back at home, with a heavy heart, I try jotting down my painful story and like all bibliophiles I take refuge in philosophy, and a comforting thought surges from within me: “life is like spending an hour in Crossword; you never know what you’re gonna get”.