More than a year ago, I had written this piece and as I was rummaging through my old documents, I found it today. It’s still interesting!
I was panicking, whether I’ll be able to grab a copy of the much awaited, Dan Brown’s,”The Da Vinci Code”, or not. The book had already sold in millions when I enquired its availability at the valley’s leading bookstores. I was curious to get hold of the book and finish it in one go. I had placed the order with one of the leading book stores, “Pilgrims”, and was waiting for them to make a call at my residence as they are in the possession of the book. And the moment came; I got a call from one sweet voiced lady asking me to visit the bookstore the same day. A hint of admonition pervaded in her message conveying, compelling me to visit the shop at the earliest.
So, I was in a hurry, after my office hour. It was raining and I didn’t even have a raincoat or an umbrella to save me from the abrupt downpourings. I was drenched and had no convenience of my own to reach the shop at Thamel. Also the taxis were zooming past me and I wasn’t able to stop even a single one. Finally, I got to the shop and my eyes started wandering on the shelves as I stepped in – on the lookout for the book. And hurried by the desire, I asked the shopkeeper for it and told him about my booking. He was happy to see an eager customer, and brought a copy from the shelves. And it was the last copy! They had outsold the whole lot in a single day! I was amazed to know that there are so many avid readers. At last, I got hold of my long-awaited proud possession.
While making the payment, I noticed a foreigner, in a pure khadi outfit, at the counter. He had long braids of hair, and appeared like a Hindu sadhu. Then, I noticed a set of books with white covers in his hand. He was a gentle, soft spoken, middle aged American (which I guessed from his mode of payment). He took out six 10-dollar bills and made the payment. I stayed back and storked out my neck to peek at the book’s title. It was a set of “Vedas”. As I watched the man leave the shop after collecting the changes, I was in deep thought. I hated myself for hurrying so much in search of the book which was totally fictional. Here, in front of me were the real facts of life, and as a wandering soul I was running behind a totally fictitious plot.
I had stepped inside the shop with much eagerness and anticipation, but was leaving the shop with a dejected heart, sunk in the realities of my thoughts and opinions inclined towards West.