Monday, December 12, 2005

Of Mice And Men

Tonight after I switch off the laptop I am going to read Alchemist, a book which, I am ashamed to say, I have never read till date. My sense of shame deepens every time I see it mentioned on a blogger's profile as one of his or her favourite books. But a random thought is crossing my mind at the moment and I cannot resist putting it down here: What if I marry a bookworm who loves books more than anyone or anything else?

The positive side is that all my books will be taken care of. My grandchildren would not need spend money on buying any of Maugham, Hemingway, Steinbeck or Naipaul: they will inherit the collection. But not all children or grandchildren are considerate. My brother recently picked up the entire collection of Hemingway, for Rs 20 each, from a pavement in Kanpur. Each of the books had the same inscription: "To my Sona, from dear Baba." The date inscribed was sometime in 1986.

My commonsense suggested that it was a Bengali man who had gifted the books to his daughter, because fathers are usually called Baba by Bengalis, and daughters are often lovingly called Sona -- literally meaning gold. I don't know under what circumstances the books found their way to the footpath, but I shudder to imagine a similar fate for my own collection which has been built, with my hard-earned money, over several years.

Anyway, that's digressing from the subject. Why agonise over distant future? The thought that had come to my mind was what if my going-to-be wife happens to be a bookworm. I can imagine this scenario when the clock strikes eleven and when (Indian) couples usually initiate what they are supposed to do on the first night of their marriage. I enter the room and shut the door behind me. She has been waiting for me. The conversation begins.

Me: Tonight, darling, a new chapter begins in our life...

She: (Supine on the bed in her bridal finery) One second, let me finish this chapter, please ... Er, have you seen off all your friends?

Me: Yes, they have all gone home to their wives. And here I am, finally with my wife...

She: Oh darling, you are such a sweetheart... Have you read Of Mice and Men? That is another great book Steinbeck has written. It is there in my father's place, I will get it for you. Now let me finish this chapter honey (blows a flying kiss).

Me: Oh you smell so good...

She: Doesn't it?! Oh I love the smell of fresh ink! Here, smell it (she holds the opened pages of Grapes of Wrath to my nose. I grab the book from her).

Me: I wish I could run this rose bud along your spine... How will it feel?...

She: Hey, hey, don't put the book away like that, you will break its spine! (Grabs the book back and caresses it. I begin to caress her. She continues to read).

Me: You are so beautiful...

She: It's a beautiful story, I told you... Are your friends gone?

(By now I start doing what a man is supposed to. Her legs cooperate, but her hands are still holding the book and her eyes are on its pages.)

She: Are you done?

Me: Yes.

She: Did you come?

Me: Yes.

She: Good. Now lie down next to me like a good boy and let me finish this chapter. Just remind me to get you Of Mice and Men. You must read that.

16 comments:

Maverick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Usha said...

hahahahahahahah.
So now if you do fancy a self proclaimed booklover, would you dare propose to her?

anand subramanian said...

what a disastrous scenario worked in such detail!!
It certainly reflects what's uppermost in your mind!

Sharmishta said...

As far as The Alchemist goes, its my fav. And I am a self-proclaimed bookworm who's headed to the "altar" as they say. But the needs of the body seem more important than that of the mind...

My first reaction to your post was "hahaha", then that changed to "damn, would I be like that?"

Great one :)

Deepa said...

Great one, though it is stretching reality just a bit! Ended up laughing throughout.
Btw, I read your columns in the Express and love most of them. Good work.
I am a journalist myself, actually in my last semester at studying to be one.
The Alchemist is one of my fave books. None of his other books live up to that, though i would recommend Eleven Minutes.

Akruti said...

It starts with Alchemist and goes to inheritence to bengali fathers and daughters and comes to First night....
You sure know how to make us all hooked to this place.
I am right now busy with "The Zahir" by PauloCoelho. Enjoy Alchemist:)

Bishwanath Ghosh said...

Usha: Don't know why but I usually end up fancying booklovers. :(

Anand: Nothing can be more disastrous, yes.

Sharmishta: I hope your fiancee does not read your comment. :)

Deepa: Thanks. In my opinion, though, such a scenario is quite possible in real life. I have read Eleven Minutes, and I would recommend Zahir -- it's a must for every writer. Or so I think.

Bishwanath Ghosh said...

Hey Akruti, there you are! I just mentioned The Zahir. Hope you like it.

Maya said...

If you are happy with a Bookworm Wife, why not? Different strokes for different folks, eh? That was funny and quite plausible :)

Wishing you luck and hope you find the gal of your dreams.

Bimal said...

Bg. That was great

Deepa said...

yes I had forgotten the Zahir. i have read it, good one. and I would recommend it too.

Sp^wN_0F_S^T^N said...

OMG!! kewl post man....B-)!!!

Nomad said...

I had a lot of things to say but, after reading all these i somehow can't bring myself to write mine!! No wonder they call eccentric!!
A nice piece though!

raaji said...

//raajispace/blogspot.com/rajindra5813@yahoo.co.in.
at the cubercafe,rs25 per hour, blog searching, your article is so captivating but sooooo long, wheres the time? how to know you, the real you, age sex race color creed???
reading book in bed when the hub has started love, foresee her/their future?
just writing? visualise atleast 6 steps ahead, leaves the reader satiated??? raaji.mr.

anjaly said...

hi, worked for New Indian Express for four years!! nice to see your blog. you write really well. enjoyed your posts. just sad to know that finally express has moved out from tis old past into something new. why must everything change anyway?

Dr. Health said...

The thought that had come to my mind was what if my going-to-be wife happens to be a bookworm.