Thursdays it was. Library period is what they called it. They would remove their shoes outside. The library was as small as a regular classroom. Yet, for her it was a fortune. Which book should she pick? She had all the options in the world! Aisle after aisle. Shelf after shelf. The smell of old books. Some bookmarks left as it is. Some pages torn. Some drawings made. The library card where she would put her name. And read the names of everyone else who checked it our before her. The Enid Blyton Books..
Then there would be the book sale, announced well in advance. She was not supposed to carry any money to school. But for the book fair she would be allowed. She loved reading those abridged classics. The beautiful pictures on the covers. The blurb on the back. The smell of new books. It did not matter whether the book was old or new. Whether she borrowed from the library or bought from the fair. The books unleashed a different world. A world of dreams. A world of knowledge.
Today, it makes her sad that she will never smell those books again.
The rainy season would start. Monsoon as they would call it. Her mother would pick her up from school. Sometimes, they would not find an auto or rickshaw. So they would have to walk home. In the rain. And keechad. Cars would pass by. There would be a splash. Mostly on the red skirt. But sometimes on the crisp, ironed white shirt too. The dirt on the road. The smell of the rain. She would love to make a puddle. She would jump at each step as her mother would try to drag her to walk properly. Dogs, cows, people, cars, cycles all moved in the rain.
Today, It makes her sad that she will never make that puddle again.
Summer vacation would start. Her cousins would arrive. Her father had purchased a video game for her. It had two games. Shoot the duck with a gun. And Mario. They would take turns to play. How cool it was, that she was the only girl in the neighborhood who had the game. Would her Mario survive the dragons at the end of the fourth level? Thank you Mario but our princess is in another castle – The screen would read. Would her Mario find his princess at the end of the eighth world? Would she and her brother be able to play simultaneously as Mario and Luigi?
Today, It makes her sad that her Mario will never meet the Princess again.
Little joys were so simple to achieve then.. She thought when she grew up there would be something so much bigger. Better. Bigger happiness! Little did she know….
It was not until she became an adult that she realized:
Happiness comes at a very heavy price!
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दर्द संभालने होंगे
मुस्कुराये तो मुस्कुराने के
क़र्ज़ उतारने होंगे