I’m not a cleanliness freak, but I don’t like to see dirt either. So whenever I get time, I utilise it to dust off some objects in the house that otherwise seem to be deprived of my attention. Last Wednesday, it was the turn of my bookshelf to get some pampering and to be neatly arranged.
While I was at it, some dried rose petals fell off from one of the books. Opening that very page from where it was kept for all these years, I could see some more dry petals along with three dry leaves and a stem. It was the rose given to each one of us during our send-off from Higher Secondary (as if it was an indication that your rosy path has come to an end and thorny path is about to begin). So many memories attached to that particular day came gushing to my mind as if someone had opened the gates of the past.
I thought to myself, whichever book I shall dust, I would definitely have something or the other kept as a bookmark. And whatever it may be, it will surely have some of my past attached to it. I was so very right, every book had something in it to offer me. One of the books had a crochet Cross bookmark, which had given me company while reading several books just in a manner in which the maker of that Cross had given me company to buy books.
A magnetic one had its own style making its presence felt, the bookmark was holding four pages at one go in its grip and was prominently visible as soon as I took the book in my hand. I had purchased it myself during one summer afternoon while strolling through the Fort area (Mumbai) — place which is usually meant to be a window shoppers delight. Many in my office had then liked the colourful look of it more than its magnetic power to hold on to pages helping me to hold on to my memory.
Just when I was nearing to finish my bookshelf cleaning spree, one of the books had stored in its heart one of the most memorable pieces of my past. It was a black and white photograph of my maternal grandmother with me on her lap and reading a story book. She read so many of them to me when I was a kid. Some of them were read over and over again, but every time she read it she made it sound new. My love for books was certainly her find.
After I was done, looking at cleaner and neater bookshelf I thought to myself: Once in a while we should turn the pages all over again, who knows we may just find a new start from where we stopped last. After all book marks are there to help us reconnect our past with present.