Keys swung into the lock, and with a loud click disrupting the silence, the door swung open. I entered my apartment; it was the same way I left it in the morning. Coffee mug on the balcony, with the door wedged open; newspapers bundled in a corner; some cloths on the bed; a pitiable kitchen that was used for nothing but coffees, sandwiches and empty packets of frozen food covers.
Despite all the usual mayhem, another big brown cover was delivered before I left for work today. I had ripped open the top cover; it had a note, below which a stack of old books was seen. It was from mom, I tried reading it but soon my biological clock thundered, realizing that it was late, I dashed out leaving them as it was.
Now that I was back home after a long day of working on an editorial assignment, I felts much relaxed. tipping in some music, sipping a freshly brewed coffee from the counter; my curiosity was hitting new levels. The yellow book hidden beneath the torn cover got my attention. The note from mom read
‘Books from your Grandpa’s library. He wanted to you have them.
After years of his demise, his library was finally opened. Intrigued, I tore open the wrappings. There were over ten books, battered and extensively used. The first of the pile was a yellow book. It read ‘Yoga Vasistam’. All those books were predominantly on philosophy and history.
“Grandpa! Read this” I handed out to him a page, I was around 17 years then.
He took it and read through. It was a poem titled, ‘Who amI?’
He read it and looked up and said, “This is not the right time”
I was disappointed. I took it and left with another word. I was a kid back then.
He was someone who rarely spoke and when he did speak, they had immense meaning and significance.
(Inwardly he was smiling, and he realized his books now got a reader, his thoughts could be heard)
My eyes were moist; I never had a chance to look at his library. It is indeed true that a person’s library spoke volumes about them. Had I known I would have had the most brilliant mentor, I thought with a sigh. Then I slowly picked each of them carefully, and browsed through the pages.
Each book contained a lot of marking and various symbols and some hasty calculations. Interestingly they had the exact same words at the exact same place in each book; they were hand-written, amazing calligraphy; and each of them was wrapped in the same yellow sheet.
*To my dearest Granddaughter Yantra, ‘Who am I?’ changed everything*
I picked them up and placed them in my own library, which strangely fit in instantly and completed the other collections.
(In-between all these memories and emotions, she missed the fact that they were in fact a few clues hidden in between).