“So what is that you are reading in that Madam?” he asked leaning over my seat. Bus journeys bring me a new kind of trepidation every time despite being a regular commuter of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation services, well for reasons known. I must confess that this time I was disturbed in the middle of reading a very intense book on life’s simple pleasures written by Ruskin Bond, well who else.
I looked up, and what I saw was wonderful. It sort of made my day.
The curiosity in his eyes, very childlike much against the obtuseness of the regular bus conductors I have come across. I do not blame them, but such is their peripatetic life.
“It’s a book” I replied with all the politeness I could and the inspiration I had gathered from Bond’s writings.
“It doesn’t look like one!” he giggled.
“Arey Saaar! It’s a big phone, I have seen this with many rich people these days, so how much does it cost Madam?” inquired an equally curious lady sitting behind me, munching on a handful of peanuts.
There is no right place or people or time for such engaging conversations here in India. If you give yourself a chance they are bound to happen, after all they aren’t of any harm, all these infectious chit chatter.
“It’s an Ebook reader, instead of carrying many books we can read in just one” I replied.
Their inquisitiveness was bound to increase, what followed were a twenty more questions. The journey turned out to be very interesting for me, the whole experience of making such naive people understand what Kindle and such gadgets are all about, thankfully they did not think of me as some great show off like people usually do.
“So how many books do you have in this?” he asked.
“Around five hundred…”
I replied and continued reading, and when I did that he was brimming with amazement or amusement of some kind, either of the two or both maybe, I am not very sure.
“MADAM ! So you have the whole world in your hands!”
He opined so with a smile and went about his duty of issuing tickets and checking the passes of fellow passengers. The lady was back to her peanuts.
And I was back to my Kindle His admittance was very subtle and nice indeed. I have read a hundred books last year for kicking a start. Reading is something I am willingly working on now. Be it the choice of books or the reading speed, there is always something beyond our horizons and I am realizing this over time, with every word, with every line and every book. The world is indeed in our hands while we are reading and by one of those happy coincidences I happened to come across these words from Bond himself: