The book waited with the smell of fresh ink trapped between its unturned pages. Another climbed up it's back. Then another. Till they built up into a stack of books. All waiting for mastication. Each of them had been brought with much fondness, with thrill of anticipation of a tete-a-tete.
They waited patiently on the shelf while the chores spun their barely visible threads. In dimly lit evenings they peekaboo-ed when the lights went on to fetch a file containing bills, a new pack of pencils or the medical report. A wistful smile went their way, a quick brush with the fingers, an assurance of their presence. Hoping for 'the one day' when they will all be savoured. Will 'the one day' arrive, curled up by the window while the rain danced outside sending in stray sprays? Or that summer evening while the Rangoon flowers assailed with its heady fragrance? 'The one day' could well begin with the wintery slant of the sun rays while the orange segments burst into a tangy freshness between the teeth. Or an evening maybe snuggled under the quilt.
The ominous hours passed by and the pages remained unopened. Dormant lay stories of different worlds that tumbled around as the earth cruised ahead in its journey. Wisps of ideas caught in verses remained frozen. The time to open up to new ways of thinking was yet to arrive. Mere points and shaded regions in the atlas waited to be transformed into places offering unique experiences. Pico Iyer, Joyeeta Sharma, Anuradha Roy, Cyrus Mistry, Debopriya and Saurav, Markus Zusak, Hiren Bhattacharya, Zia Haider Rahman, Bono, Waheed... They waited with their voices muted. As did myriad other mental notes, things to do and the ever lengthening bucket list.
Somewhere between chaos of the internal and external cosmos, jostling amidst the crowded days, and ever demanding urban living, the books held on. As did the things to be done. Resolute in their silent persistence for attention, waiting to emerge from the shadows of procrastination. The journey had begun, unnoticed, without an opportune moment marking it. Stealthily, a page had turned. And then a few more. Before realisation dawned, only a few pages were left. The books finally heaved a sigh of relief. They, after all, were going to see the light and feel the air.