Monday, May 26, 2008

Newspaper * Love bites!

I've this habit of reading almost anything that gets by my hand, even to this day. Selective reading wasn't there in my childhood and teenage days' reading agenda. This had its advantages and disadvantages. While it helped enrich my knowledge and vocabulary of the language, it exposed me to news and views for matured minds also. In an age where you are supposed to think like a child or a teenager you start thinking like an adult. This might land you in, so to say, 'politically incorrect' situations, especially when you're treated to a steady dose of principles, values and virtues, through print! You might think I am getting prejudiced here; but its the fact. As people say there's time for everything. So exercise some caution!

In my school days, I would read attentively, even shoddy newspaper sheets that come wrapped over grocery items (in my grandmothers' parlance 'Chantha-paper' or in plain English translation 'Market-paper') we used to buy. Its not that we hadn't any newspaper subscription, (Indian Express and The Hindu, courtesy my Uncle, Mathrubhumi my Grandmother. In addition to this occasional buys of Times of India, Indian Communicator etc.,) but that these newspaper wraps were of other Newspaper editions and from other states that we normally didn't come across. It had some 'exotic' value for me, moreover. Those days, glossy newsprint was a rarity and I used to keep those editions whenever I happened to get one!

My reading habit even brought me close to a girl whom I had an short affair with (not touchy-touchy one) I met her in my college days. Guess where? Right in the library. She, doing her Masters in Chemistry and me, Masters in Economics. In addition to books prescribed for M.A. Eco. students I used to read books meant for M.A Eng. students. These collection were placed adjacent to Science books.

Occasional glances grew to intimate conversations, and later to reading each others' minds. Words that would take volumes of spaces in books were exchanged in sweet whispers in the most silent corners of our library. Her love-talk had the effect of what cool monsoon showers would to a sun-scorched piece of land! When we felt that our love has bloomed like flowers in the spring, in that ecstatic mood we even proposed to each other.

Whatever obstacles (FYI: we had them a lot) may come we will get married. Months went by in quick succession, exams came, only to know that she didn't even appear for it! Meanwhile, a letter, said to be written by her (the handwriting was little similar to that of hers) reached me to that her marriage has been fixed with a relative of hers, against her wishes. All my efforts to salvage my love turned out fruit-less and over time I forgot her for my convenience-sake.

After a couple of months, I found myself holding a wrinkled-but-now-straightened sheet of newspaper showing a B/W photo of my ex-love with her husband; in 3 column cms x 10 cms size!

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