This story was about day before yesterday. When after a long time and a long break, I thought of hanging out with someone immediately when one of the person I know Divesh texted me saying, ‘’Hey, I am going to the Prithvi Theatre this evening to attend my friend Kanak Nanda painting live mural, would you like to join me ? ‘’ I gave it some thought, but anyways went ahead with my decision of hanging out in the evening at the Prithvi café. It had been long since I went out with my friends casually in the evening. But somehow I thought I should give myself another chance and love myself a little more.
The evening arrived and I got dressed into a jumpsuit. It was six in the evening already. I stepped out of my house, locked the Godrej brass lock outside my house with the keys. I climbed down the two floor staircase of my building. I had decided to board a bus for Juhu from Carter Road stop which is right outside my building. My wrist watch was showing 6:30 pm. And that particular bus still didn’t turn up after a long 45 minutes wait at the bus station. After much anticipation, the bus number that I was waiting so anxiously for, no. 56 finally arrived and I boarded the bus breathing a sigh of relief. The bus was carrying only two passengers, a driver and a conductor till now. Not anymore. Now it had me and two other older couple to board the bus with me. I sat down on the window seat of the bus, reading the book Autumn of the Patriarch by Gabriel Garcia Marquis which had a dark maroon cover. I always felt about him, he is one difficult and surreal writer. As much as I am always excited to read his books always, I also feel he has a complicated way of writing. I have to literally take it slow, sentence by sentence whenever I read him. But when I sat at the window seat, reading this book , a sudden gush of sea breeze, teased my hair and touched my skin so pleasantly, I was forced to keep the book aside and simply gazed outside the window. From Bandra, Carter Road to Juhu Hotel stop, it took me around 40 minutes to reach. All this while I kept looking outside the window, observing everything around, people, behaviour, gesture, skyline, spaces, other species, almost everything that was hitting my eyes. At 7:15 pm, exactly after 40 minutes, I picked up my bag from the seat and alighted the bus. To my luck I realised it rather quick that the book that I was carrying, the one with the maroon cover is forgotten on the window seat of the bus. I thanked God for the Mumbai’s traffic, as because of the traffic, the bus didn’t move an inch and I happened to board the bus as fast as I could, picked up my maroon cover book to my delight and alighted the bus again.
I held the book in my hand and started walking towards Prithvi Café. As I reached there I found my friend Divesh, we exchanged hugs and he gave me the new superhit candy in the markets recently, Pulse, which I immediately unwrapped and gulped down. Both of us were searching for a place to sit. Being a weekend and a Sunday, the place got overcrowded and we had no place to sit. As we were moving out to find a café, to casually sit and chat I urged Divesh to accompany me to the Prithvi book store which I could see right in front of me in the same premises. We went inside the store, browsed through few books, holding my maroon cover book in between my arms and the side of my chest. After spending almost 15 minutes at the bookstore, we left from there and headed over to Juhu Chowpatty nearby to have some pani puri. We walked over till the chowpatty, had ragda puri, sev puri and pani puri. Talking and laughing and looking at everything around. After couple of hours, chatting and walking on the sand, we thought of calling it a day at 9:30 pm. I reached home in an hour.
The most dreading thing was awaiting for me, to my surprise. Did I tell you I am pathetic in keeping the books that I read. I tend to lose it at random places, never to find it back and sulk over it later. While I was cleaning up things after reaching home I realised I couldn’t find the maroon cover book of Garcia Marquis. It wasn’t in my bag and anywhere in my room. I realised I must have forgotten the book in that crowded book store. Next day morning I tried to follow up with the book store manager if by any chance they could find my book in the store, waiting for a positive response at least once. But to my disappointment they could never find any book, neither did I. I realised I lost my precious book. You must be thinking what is the big deal with losing a book, I might as well buy the book again. Yes sure I can, but I have a habit of making pointers and write notes on the page itself. I just didn’t lose the book, I lost those notes of my experience. That is why it is more painful.
Anyway, all I can do is take more care of my books while carrying it outside somewhere. I hope to keep up the promise I made to myself.