Thursday, March 6, 2008

An evening in Dharwad....

We went to Dharwad last evening.We includes me,Ma,Pa,bro and Shashank.The immediate destination was a book exhibition on KCD grounds.We parked the car outside and walked on the red carpet(!) leading to the numerous stalls.I stepped inside the makeshift gate and I swear, the air ws different.Nothing else matters around when you enter the realm of undiscovered books. The excitement of a new book waiting to be opened is not only infectious(even my parents were enthralled!),it is highly exhilirating.I scanned through books on myriad topics, in a trance-like state, caring not whose foot I tread on.All I could see was books.Now isn't that a lovely way to spend an evening?Just the feel of new pages, the smell of a new book gets me all cheerful!My mum had a hard time searching for me in each and every stall.Once she'd see me flipping pages on feminism and the next instant I'd be contemplating to buy a book on and called 'Clairvoyance'.I discovered a bunch of new Indian authors.I ended up buying two books-'The best of Khalil Gibran' and 'Contemporary Indian short stories'.Shashank bought a Sherlock Holmes and innocently asked me later "Is Sherlock a girl or a boy?"Oh!He's so darn cute!

As yesterday happened to be Shivaratri, Mum suggested we go to Someshwara temple which houses Lord Shiva.So we picked up my bro(who did not accompany us to the book exhibition as he had to catch up with an old friend) from SDM engg college(which looked inviting, but there was no time!).We headed towards the temple and found out that there was no power supply.It suited me.

I don't know what it is about twilight.Or in particular, yesterday's. Is it the picturesque silhoutte of thorny, short trees or the gradual descension of another day?Probably it was more captivating with the accompaniment of my father's mellow nostalgia as he remembered his parents and his childhood, the adolescent games with his brothers.But there was something about that twilight that I'll remember for years to come.I never really bothered the queue for the darshan and the subsequent uninspiring act.I've always been a pagan since the time I could remember.I don't believe that any carved stone can demand as much respect as Mother Nature can with a single whiff of orchid-scented breeze.I had things to pray for and things to feel grateful about.I did.But it was a one-on-one with God.I mean, just imagine how busy God must be in temples.Its a long line of devotees all murmuring some random prayer and God going "Just a sec darling, yes sir!What were you asking?Wait for your turn Ma'm.Let the man who wants the promotion finish first!"See!I din't want to add to God's busy listening schedule.So I whispered a quiet 'Thank you' and went about taking the beauty of the twilight in.On the way out, I saw three kids selling these flowers.I don't know what those flowers are called.They are white and have a yellow centre.Anyway, I absolutely love these flowers, their feel, their fragrance, everything about them.So I bought a couple of them, after overpaying the three kids as they smiled at me with broken teeth.I watched this young girl, about nine years old, handing me the flowers on a wilted, broad leaf.I couldn't help but wonder.Does she have dreams too?Does she dream of security, love and contentment?I couldn't decipher the smile she flashed as I accepted the flowers.It was a knowing smile, a sad one and a contented one at the same time.It was something that took my attention off the twilight too.

We left for Hubli and reached home at around 9.It was a nice trip altogether, though you can hardly call it a trip.After all, Dharwad is just about 20kms away!But it had been long since I had had a good time with my family, without Mum's nagging and Dad's constant worries.Bro was his usual, annoying self but everything was in good spirit and I had a smile on my face as I recollected the books, the twilight, the nostalgia, the girl's smile and the scent of the flowers as they rested on the table.

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