I was just lying down, in the deepest of slumber when someone suddenly started poking me. Drowsily I opened my eyes and realized I was being lifted. I panicked, but there was nothing I could do. I was completely paralyzed by fear and shock! But when I realized that I was in safe, familiar, caring hands, I relaxed a little. I looked back at the place from where I was picked up and saw the marks of my own age. I saw a rectangular shape of clean teak surrounded by a thick layer of dust. How many years had it been? I had lost track of time. Suddenly a soft coughing voice caught my attention. I looked up and felt like I was in a time machine. The resemblance was uncanny. Those familiar big brown eyes were staring down at me through a cloud of dust. There it was, that small little frown on her forehead. But I was sure it was not her, it could not be.
It was ages ago, I remember that day vividly as if it was yesterday. I was sitting on another shelf in a charming little bookstore tucked away in at the bottom row in a dusty corner. The owner was closing down his beautiful shop, which was my home ever since I came fresh from the press. I was in a very nascent stage with absolutely no clue about what was in store rather out of the store for me. I had heard about people who supposedly read us, I had seen them wander the aisles tossing glances at me, sometimes picking me up. I had heard from the second hand shelved books across from me about all the wonderful and sometimes not so wonderful experiences they had. I could not wait to get out and explore the world. But sometimes it was scary, looking at the hideously deformed, dog-eared, creased look that those across the aisle sported. Little did I know I had absolutely no reason to worry.
It was the day I would get picked. Not just that I was going to get picked on a very special day, maybe not for the world, but definitely for the girl with whom I spent my read days. Those big brown eyes were sweeping across all the shelves, curious, hungry. They rested on me. She picked me up with conviction. That was the first time anyone had picked me up with such surety and I knew it was ka-ching for the bookstore owner. She cradled me in her hand as she still searched for more of us, but it was just my day. She went running to her best friend, who was with her. I was a gift from her best friend. She cheered and hugged and jumped with joy, all the while her friend looked at her amazed but not embarrassed at all. They shared a beautiful bond and I was another one of small catalysts who just strengthened it further. I was her companion on trips, on rainy afternoons, on gloomy evenings spent alone in a nearby cafe, some late nights with just the reading lamp and the rest of the world in unknown darkness.
In the past few years I had been tucked away into this bookshelf though, until today. I suddenly snapped back to the present and realized this little girl was running with me. She handed me over to my reader, I was in her hands again after a long time. She smiled her dimpled smile and started flipping through the pages. She turned to the last page, a tear trickled down her smiling face. The last page was adorned with these lines :
Every year I grow with you literally, in all sense,
and our bond just deepens.
Somehow we have grown to love the same things
and BOOKS are one of these.
The birthday wishes :
I hope and pray that all your dreams come true.
Fly high and remain grounded a the same time.
Wishing you all the success, peace, love and prosperity!!!
Your Best Friend