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December 1, 2012 / swati

The beginnings

There was an idea. A thought, to learn more about the world, by conversations. It came to me while I was sitting at a busy cafe, watching people around me. Who were these people? What were they thinking? Where were they from? There was an aged lady sitting on the table next to mine. And straight ahead, was a man, who was talking to ‘Wendy’. The old lady seemed to be working on Facebook, checking mail, sending some emails. The man sometimes looked at the lady, and said some things. Maybe they knew each other, I thought. Perhaps the lady’s name was Wendy. In sometime, maybe one of them will go and sit with each other. Perhaps, she just came earlier and was finishing her work. I was trying to fix the design of a business card a colleague made. All of a sudden, the lady dropped water on her Macbook! She was quite hassled! I got up, helped her drain out the water, reassuring that nothing would go haywire. She conversationally mentioned, that the man sitting across was saying some things, but she wondered if he was talking to her. I was quite surprised, why, all the while I thought they were together. She left the table, and left me wondering what her story was. To my luck, she came back for an umbrella she left, by when I was able to draw up the courage to ask her what did she actually do. She was making a movie on African kids and trying to raise money for the same. The man, I later found out, had a pet walrus called Wendy, who he spoke to affectionately. In a conversation with him, he mentioned he was from ‘Salem, the town of witches’.

A couple of days later, I was at a friend’s place – drinking beer while he cooked his food. We started discussing this idea, and he said, that you should perhaps read more books. Books, oh how I just can’t get through them. I can’t read anything unless it’s completely thrilling, gripping, mysterious, magical and the like. I can’t get myself to read anything useful. And then he said, books are like food. Just like you can’t stop eating chips, likewise, you can’t put down a not-so-good-for-you book. But that doesn’t mean books can’t be read. I loved the analogy. I simply loved it.

I read up about Salem, the town of witches, the witch trials – how people blindly believed in something, because they had no better explanation. I wonder what all we believe in, that seems logical, but really turns out to be shocking after a century.



Leave a Comment
  1. Sujata Gupta / Dec 3 2012 2:55 am

    This was lovely….now this idea seems to have got lodged in my mind too….about books being like chips…that you cant leave behind….!
    And, the best way to widen the horizon’s of your mind is just by observing how people behave and react around you…..its a case of studying what goes on around you….and understanding situations…! Sometimes they can be hilarious….but at times depressing too….!

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