People say, on the moment of death, just before you take the bow, the whole life or maybe parts of it fly in front of you. I cannot vouch for that, never have been dead.. thats the whole reason why, But am sure, the moment I die, one of the million picture postcard that will pass across my eyes will be Me and saand walking across the moor to Satish's library. Those discussions which we used to have, about books, abt girls, abt life as a whole maybe shaped the future course our life was to take. If you are confused by Saand, then please dont think its someone from the bovine family, its just Sir AshishNath (the) Don, whome we used to and still refer lovingly as Saand.
Thinking abt those days fills me with nostalgic fond memories, those were the days when we were so carefree.. studies were to be dealt with only in the month before the exams, the only decission we had to make in the day was where to eat our lunch and dinner, the resturants were chosen on the basis of the money we had in the pocket, the bikes had to be borrowed on the basis of ppl planning to go and after food the blissful sleep, the powernaps of 2 hours in the afternoon and the blissful sleep in the early mornings. The only thing constructive we ever did was maybe read a few novels for which we had to go across to Satish library, our refuge, just across the railway line, behind our hostel.There was a better way, by road, but we always walked over there jumping across streams, swaying with the cool evening breeze and walking briskly across the moor to where satish was waiting to loot us by charging us more for the books and we to similary loot him of the books itself.
The walks have always been significant in my life, I walk very less but whenever I used to take those I used to learn so much from them. I used to take long walks in bhubaneswar amongst the lone trees, on the beach with the sand on one side and the vast roaring sea on the other, on the desolate roads in bangalore with well lit houses on either sides, in the moors with the moon shining above us in Mysore and amongst the concrete jungle of Singapore... all these have enriched me with memories... things that I have always clinged to. The moors used to be so serene... a huge field with sporadic growth of jungle shrubs.. some trees in some far off corners.. some cows tied to the poles used to sway their tail to keep the flies at bay, the half lit houses with just a 60 watt bulb lighting the portico.The serenity used to be broken by our occasional laughs.. we had to jump across a stream to reach the railway tracks,the stream had some loose stones across which we had to skip on and then climb across the railway tracks which were on a elevation which we had to climb. There was a small shop where a young girl used to sell ciggrates and supari and stuff. Saand used to have some supaari and me some sugar candies worth 50 paisas and then we were ready for Satish.
In the library, I used to first look up the books, one which I wanted for good, and one which I wanted to rent. After deciding, I used to just tell Saand what I wanted and then went to talk to Satish regarding any topics under the sun. I remember once I wanted to sell my Das Kapital, and I had to convince satish as how important communism was, but I failed to make the sell. The capitalist (always looting inncocent students of their father's hard earned money) that he was failed to understand what Marx had to say. Anyways, the distraction I created allowed saand to steal the book for me along with the hundreds Archie comics which he used to steal for himself or someone else that I have no permissions to reveal.For more than 3 years we stole some obscure books for us and even for others.. and thankfully never got caught. I used to call myself the perfect thief after Agatha christie's perfect murderer in "The curtain" who never actually comitted the murder but ensured someone killed the would be victim a la Charles Manson maybe.
I dont know why we used to steal those books, I dont even have any of those except for maybe Lady chatterly's lover, and which I dont even like reading... but I think we were like serial killers ;) who liked the act and not the books that were so illly begoten. May be we used to believe that satish didnt deserve those books, he was like a pimp, procuring client like us for his books, pimping for them... and we wanted to free the books from that ordeal. That was on a lighter note... I am indebted to satish for all the books I read which I maybe never could have otherwise even gone through. Someday maybe, me and Saand will go back to the place and pay for all the books stole... or maybe gift him more books for some other kids to steal, in a blue Oxemberg shirt and a oversize levis jeans.