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So Many Books!

April 25, 2019 | By

Watching two tiny human chunks, shunned and ignored by the stiff-upper-lipped society, clowning around, Santosh Bakaya is delighted to see the rays of the early morning sun falling on these two gems of ‘purest ray serene’ and hugging them tight. Everything is not lost.

On World Book Day (23rd April), she wonders how books amaze children who don’t have access to them. Enjoy her jottings with a hot cup of tea. 🙂


My morning walk and Pushpa’s entry into the campus coincided. Oh, did I tell you who Pushpa was? No, No, don’t jump to conclusions, she had nothing to do with that famous Pushpa of Amar Prem, whom Rajesh Khanna, [the superstar of yesteryears] wooed with his famous dialogue, “Pushpa, I hate tears!”

This Pushpa never cried, she always had a huge smile on her face. What was she so happy about, I often wondered. Unlike her mother, she never frowned, even when scolding her naughty brats with giggles and grins.

Morning Meanderings

Morning Meanderings by Dr Santosh Bakaya

“My kids are very naughty, but I have to bring them along as my mother also goes out in the morning, so does my husband,” she said one morning when I had stepped out of the house.
“What are their names?”
“Sahil and Badal. Sahil is three and Badal is six.”
“Very nice names,” I said patting them on their heads. Enthused by this unexpected gesture, they broke into an impromptu jig and started clowning around. Absolutely ignoring the glares of his mother, the younger one started beating the elder one with a stick, which he had
picked up from the road.
Utterly tired after all this running around, both slumped down on the staircase which lead up to our house and started singing songs created at the spur of the moment.
“Din bhar aisey hi gaatey hain yeh.” (They sing like this the entire day)
“Oh, these songs are very good.”
“They compose the songs themselves.”

I went in and brought a few packs of glucose biscuits and a loaf of bread for them, which they took very shyly, looking at their mother from the corners of their eyes. “Kabhi bhi bhookh lagey, ghanti baja diya kerna, theek hai?” (Whenever you feel hungry, do ring the bell, okay?) I said and rushed in.

short stories

Badal, sitting on the stairs, clutching a newspaper in both his hands, eyes refusing to leave it

A couple of days later, there was a knock at the door, followed by some incoherent words. Not adult voices, but baby voices. I at once knew they were Puspha’s kids, Sahil and Badal.
“Aunty ji, bhookh lagi hai.” (Aunty, we are hungry.) Sahil, the younger one said, peeping through the door.
“Oh, Sahil aur Badal, aao andar,” I said. (Come inside)
“Arrey nahi, aunty. Hum gandey hain. Aapka ghar kharaab ho jayega,” Badal remarked, a look of terror flitting across his face. (Oh no aunty, we are dirty. We will spoil your house.) His expression almost made me cry.
“Aa jao, hamara ghar bhi ganda hai.” (Come inside, our house is also dirty.) I reassured them and pulled them inside.
And both came inside diffidently, tightly clinging on to each other’s hands.

After shyly nibbling on the eatables, I had put before them, they started glancing around, awestruck.
Itni kitabein!’ (So many books!) Both exclaimed, looking at our precious assets, which we have never tried to hide.
“Main to bahut bahut padhai kerna chahata hoon,” Badal said, confidently, but a trifle shyly. (I want to study a lot.) He was definitely not a flower to ‘blush unseen’, and ‘waste his sweetness on the desert air’. I saw the blush, I felt the blush. Very clear. Very palpable.

An hour later, when I peeped out to look for the morning newspapers outside our door, I was pleasantly surprised to see Badal, sitting on the stairs, clutching a newspaper in both his hands, eyes refusing to leave it, while Sahil was teasing a mangy little pup with the same stick he had been using to beat big brother with. The rays of the early morning sun fell on these two gems of ‘purest ray serene’ and hugged them tight.

Illustrations: Antara

Watch this space for more Morning Meanderings every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. 🙂

Pic courtesy: Santosh Bakaya

Click to read all Morning Meanderings here.

More to read in Morning Meanderings

Our Daily Bread
The Old Man and the Dog
Thunder, Lightning and Rain

Dr Santosh Bakaya is the author of three mystery novels for young adults, and a book of essays titled Flights From My Terrace, which was recently published as an e-book on Smashwords. Her poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi, Ballad Of Bapu has been published by Vitasta Publishers, Delhi, India in May 2015 and has been receiving rave reviews from everywhere. Although a Political theorist, with a doctorate in political theory, it is literature which has been her first love. She was awarded the Reuel international award for language and literature 2014 for her long poem Oh Hark!, which forms part of the Significant Anthology. Many of her poems have figured in the highly commended category in Destiny Poets, a UK based website and many are part of international anthologies. Right now, she is giving the final touches to her satirical novel, tentatively titled Sanakpur Shenanigans.
All Posts of Santosh Bakaya

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4 thoughts on “So Many Books!

  • Urna Bose

    Beautiful….so tender…so warm…infused with a love for reading and a love for books!!! Being a bookaholic, I know that feeling all too well.
    Loved your piece Santosh Ma’am. Keep writing

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