29 April, 2017

old friends in shelves

As the years roll by, I have slipped into a strange habit so smoothly that it feels like it was always there, like an ancient bedroom slipper or an unrolled recursion.

I have stopped reading new books.

A pause for clarification: the only books I read these days are the ones I have already read. I like the feel of familiarity -- chuckling at the same points, looking up pensively when turning page 256, the sense of unbelievable something at the end of chapter 8. Running my finger down the spines, the yellowed pages. These books and the times when I read first are a window into a childhood that I often neglect to remember (sometimes for weeks) -- of sun-baked tiles and bougainvillea on our balcony, a perfect geek poring over pages propped up on pillows on the bed, in the gap between returning from school and rushing off to swimming lessons or maths tuition.

Now, some of these books are at home, some adorn the bookshelves in my lab. Just for company -- a few stanzas here and a few paragraphs there -- the dashes of colour to cut through the monochrome monotony of a binarised workspace.

It is perhaps a mark of almost everything I am -- the fact that I am thinking about the books in my lab, when writing this sitting at home. I have always been one for gazing at the grass on the other side of the fence -- the rolling steppes of emerald merging into the azure horizon of a calendaresque skyscape. I rather like the idea of being dissatisfied at some level with the present, to have the germ of an itch for the next thing. Not that much of a bad tendency, all things considered.

"to seek, to strive and not to yield" 
-- Ulysses, Tennyson


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