Books are a form of subtle permanence in a transient world. At the back of my house I have a tiny bookshelf which is full of the Blytons and the Rowlings I spent my childhood inside. Just opening any of them brings back sweet memories, which remind me of the times now gone. Each book I read attaches itself to the bubble of reality that surrounds me at that moment.
Second hand books have always been my go-to, because they help the wallet a lot. When I picked up this tattered hard bound, it was mostly because I was getting a beautiful looking book for Rs 100. I came back from the bookfair and opened it, and I saw this message at the title page.
Now, I don’t know how this reached India, after 20 years of being gifted to someone. I wasn’t even born at the time Deb saw a freshly printed bunch of pages, and it reminded her of Rob. I was probably learning the alphabet when this copy was let go by Rob, for reasons unknown. I don’t even know why I wonder so, for a simple message, on a poetic book by a timeless writer, shouldn’t affect me.
But the strength of the pen scares me.
And thus, the next time I write for someone, I’ll probably send my Rob a text message.