About two months back, I was walking through the aisles of this one bookstore, accompanying my more well-read friend on a general shopping trip. My friend, who is a bookie, no.. that means something else, my friend is a books-enthusiast. If she gets into one of those bookstores, it is hard to drag her out of one.
It was one of those quintessential situations. It had been twenty minutes and there was no sign of her approaching the counter. I begged, pleaded.. no avail, I caught her by the hair, and pulled out, no retort.. just an absent minded nod. Finally, after an eternity she looks up and says.. “Why don’t you pick up something?” The last lit book I read was something by Vikram Seth, a delightful book nevertheless, but I am not one of those bookies..er.. book-people. I was a computer girl. I didn’t read books unless it had names, Richard Stallman or Steve Jobs on the cover and they had none of them around.. at least none I wanted. So I just tailed along her, tugging away at her salwar like those lil kids in super markets pestering their parents. “Ee.. chupp!” she hushed me up, typically. “Pick a book and we’ll leave..” she mumbled. “Promise??” I hopped. “Umm.. promise..” I heard a reply.
Desperately, I looked around that shelf, nice hard covers, beautifully made intelligent looking covers. But all intellectual books by some obscurely famous writers, I never knew. After bobbing my head up and down first and the rhythmically right to left, then left to right, suddenly my eyes fell on this title.. “Brave New World” it announced. Iron Maiden in a book!??!! This was the album that ruled my ex’s car forever. I never heard a different album, ever in that car, never. I can sing Wicker man better than even Bruce Dickenson. I grabbed that book (amazing abstract cover.. didn’t even bother reading the foreword) in one hand and my wailing friend in another and marched to the counter.
Ten minutes later, we got out the bookstore with her sporting a silly grin. Two hours, I wince. Two months later, I complete a dystopian novel by Aldous Huxley.