Skip to main content

Don't look now

For the chronically nostalgic, there may be nothing more shocking than being able to say "goodbye" and meaning it. Walking away without wistfully looking back. Yet, that's probably what is happening to me.

Yesterday, I visited my old workplace for an interview in the mainline department. Yes, the same place I once had a passing interest in a colleague and only later realised that she wasn't about to reciprocate. Considering the maelstrom of feelings at the time and, to be honest, for a long time after, I worried about seeing her again.

So imagine the amazement when I found I felt nothing. It feels strange even as I write these words. Sure, I didn't need any butterflies dancing an energetic salsa in my tummy while the heart did a drum solo and mind stepped out to a long lunch. But there wasn't even the weakest hint of my pulse quickening. When I walked out of there, it was with the knowledge that not only was the chapter closed, the book had been returned to the library. Long overdue, but back on the shelves.

Today, while taking a stroll after a late lunch, I spotted one of my favourite signs "Discount on Books". This was outside a venerable bookstore in the Fort area which I've never visited, simply because I can't stand their chaotic stacking style. It doesn't hold a candle to Blossoms, but at least the people at that wonderland know exactly where each and every book is in their store. Anyway, I have a weakness for bookstores that Flipkart hadn't completely dispelled. Yes, I don't visit a cherished second-hand bookstore in Poona as regularly as in the past but it's their fault for moving from their charming cubbyhole of a shop to a soul-suckingly big, bland space in a mall, heaven help me. But I think I'm done.

At the venerable store mentioned above, I enquired about 3 different books, none of which they had. I spotted a 4th by Pico Iyer, whose books I purchase by default. It was Rs. 375 after discount and I bought it. Funny thing is, the urge to check out its price on Flipkart did cross my mind in the store itself but I resisted till I got back to work. Instant regret.

It was Rs. 150 on Flipkart. That's an insane difference in the price, nostalgia be damned. I'm not sure how bookstores are going to survive and don't think I'll care too much either. Besides the price, the desultory attitude of the assistants at the store put me off too. So, while I will go to Popular in Deccan when I need to buy a book urgently - those guys always have the book I want which I find most impressive - I don't see myself deliberately visiting any new bookstore unless someone specifically recommends/praises it. Probably not even then.

Apparently, my sense of nostalgia has its limits. Good to know.

Song for the moment: He had a good time - Cliff Martinez   

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Night Boat

I usually don't write honest pieces. They're true to facts but I tend to lather my emotions and thoughts with a heavy dose of attempted humour or misdirection. This post deserves some raw emotional honesty, though.

Yesterday, 29th August, a Tuesday (or should I say, another Tuesday) was about me making choices. It was raining quite heavily when I left for office, sheeted down the windows of the train throughout the 1-hour journey to Churchgate and kept going with renewed intensity by the time I made it to the entrance, looking verily like something that had drowned in a gutter and lain there a while before being discovered by a cat and dragged in. I made the choice to go to work as I suspected my boss would be there and not because I wanted to go.

I was right about my boss but that cardiac fizz of being right flattened out rather rapidly once I realised, around 11:30 am, that no one else from my team of 20 had bothered to make a similar effort. And, some of these guys live 5 …

Drink up and be somebody

Dear Reader,

History will boldly testify that your favourite blogger is usually slow on the uptake, a state of affairs that's blooming with each passing year like a reverse-Revital. "Why this self-harshness, G", you may ask? Well...

I've been doing the Bom-Pune-Bom trips for 9 years and it's taken about that long to accept that MSRTC Shivneri, still the best bus service of them all, simply cannot (or, realistically, will not) cope with 3-day weekends. Since my job profile does not allow me to plan my travel in advance on said Fridays, I land up at Dadar, view the queue of potential passengers snaking a long way from the ticket window and mentally prepare to arrive home at the hour of morning reserved for sheepish teenagers and dacoits. The Expressway doesn't help anyone's cause thanks to truck drivers spreading themselves generously across 3 lanes and clogging the Lonavala pass to a point where the traffic jam is about 3 km long. A stretch that would tak…

Country Comforts

Part 1

With timing that was far more impeccable than their usual service, the MSRTC went on strike 2 days before Diwali over a pay dispute. I've traveled on their buses for close to 9 years and know full well just how popular they can be just before a major holiday. The chaotic crowd at Dadar is so dense, one would only need to introduce a few Naga sadhus into the mix and hey presto! we've got ourselves a brand new Kumbh Mela. Albeit one where getting out of Bombay ASAP is the only kind of salvation devotees seek. 

News and newspapers being what they are at present, I was unaware of the jolly bus crisis until Wednesday morning when a well-wisher asked how I proposed to go home for the holidays, flourishing the paper in my face with the reluctant panache of a small-town magician. Realising the gravity of the situation, I looked up train schedules and was stunned to find General category seats available on an outstation train departing later that afternoon. As far as I could see, …