The little red flower


It is a bright and sunny day, after a week of dull rainy weather. I am cooling-off after my workout and head to my balcony. I allow the gentle morning breeze to tease my sweat-soaked curls, before it envelopes my neck and gifts me a few moments of pleasurable coolness.

The world below is already busy. Traffic is quite heavy and people are walking with purpose. Suddenly, I sense something flying past the balcony grill and on to the floor.

It is this beautiful flower! I quickly rush indoors to get my phone to click a picture.

And as it lies against the grey tiled floor, its beautiful red colour warms my heart. It reminds me of the beautiful hues of the red saree worn by a new Indian bride, it reminds of the deep red chillies that my mom would always sun- dry on our terrace when we were kids; it reminds me of the deep red spine of old books on our bookshelf, dog-eared and cherished; it reminds me of a perfect layer of raspberry jam on a slice of toast. It makes me smile.

This little flower has flown-in with the breeze, a simple gift that enlivens my day – bringing with it stories of its life experiences, and stories of how it was nurtured and cared-for by a loving pair of hands. Now it lies on my balcony, beautiful and poised, ready for whatever comes next.

From a bookworm


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I am a bookworm. If I could, I would spend all my time with books, yellowed or frayed, dog-eared or shiny and new, from the library or from the bookstore.

I could snuggle inside a book all day and feel the words wrap around me. My bookshelf is an old-cane one, that has borne the weight of millions of words that have been lovingly chiseled into beautiful books.

Each time I read a great book, I pause and wonder about the journey of words from the author’s mind to the printed word – scratched or deleted, replaced or enhanced! The fountain of ideas never seems to dry up. Amazing books are being conceived and written even at this moment.

The pleasure of reading reigns supreme in my life – reading a good book, by the window, on my easy chair, with a fresh mug of coffee. Idyllic! Rain lashing outside would be an added bonus.

Like caffeine-shots, I need my book-shots every night. My books are scattered around our home. Their covers, spines and smells invigorate me.

My love affair with books started when I was in grade three. Every Sunday, my sister and I would accompany our dad to the vegetable market. From there, we would drop in at my dad’s brother’s house. Enroute to my uncle’s home, there was a book shop. My dad would buy us a comic each. We would finish reading one comic each in our uncle’s house. Once we got back home, we would swap our books and read the other’s. What joy!

When a library opened close to where we lived, my sister and I were there at opening time during our holidays, waiting to get in and borrow books. We would then run home to read.

We read late into the night, with our granny’s voice chiding us to sleep. To hide the fact that we were reading late into the night from our parents, we would put a thick towel under the door, to prevent light from escaping through the crack at the bottom.

There is always a book that travels with me in my handbag. I unabashedly bend my head to look at book titles that people are reading on the train or in the airport.

I check online for lists like ‘100 books to read before you die’, just to be sure I don’t miss the good ones.

Books continue to shape my life in so many many ways. If there is one legacy I want to leave behind for my children, it would be my books. My happiest moments are those, when I see my children finish a great book and look up with that blissful expression- an expression that only other bookworms would understand.

Books, books everywhere but not enough time to read.