I have this personal belief that when you are really sad or depressed, heaven sends you certain signs to know that you are needed in this world. Not that you'll win a lottery or meet your soulmate, but small signs that are too much of an accident and surprisingly delightful.
As children my brother and me looked forward to every edition of Balarama, which was published every fortnight unlike now when it is published every week. We both would run for it and at times struggle to get it first from the old man who used to bring us paper.I remember running with toothbrush in my hand and toothpaste in my mouth to get it ahead of my brother because whoever gets it first could read it first after coming from school.It was a time of intense waiting and struggles and one book full of colours meant a lot to both of us.
Its with the same anxiety though there is none to fight with now, we both being grown up and understanding, that I wait for the Literary Review page in The Hindu on Sundays. This is because of the column Endpaper by Pradeep Sebastian. His writing reveals a book lover with much sensitivity and understanding. The article that touched me the most came some years back in May.
I was in very low spirits at that time. It was exam time and I wasnt able to study well with my project incomplete and my heart sore over something that I now consider very trivial. Agitated and worried with the exams and some nerve-cracking people around me, I went on doing a lot of self-destructive activities- like skipping studies, tearing up all diaries, cutting my long hair and getting mad at anyone who tried to advise me. A radical and highly rebellious state of mind it was.
Then in the evening, I was sitting with a vacant mind and my eyes fell on this article. It was called An Unlived Life about a story called "Babette's Feast" by Isak Dinessen. It spoke of how a congregation without any unity is changed by a feast given by an artistic cook who gives up whatever she has for the feast.