I used to be a voracious reader. But that’s just a thing of the past now. Presently, ‘I read’ is more time-bound. No, I will not be drifting away to the stressful yet important events of our life that no more allow us time for things we cherish. On the contrary, today I re-lived some of those wonderful ‘things.’

While organising some of the family books at home, I came across my Grandfather’s books. Hardbound, classic covers, no graphics, engraved titles, earthy colours and survived through endless decades. I didn’t realise their absence in my life until I actually breathe through their captivating aroma. That aroma! THAT aroma envelopes everything…time, laughter, happiness, growth, struggle, family, travel, experience and life. Why don’t we get such perfect books anymore?

Sitting amongst those books, I began reading a few lines. And there I was, slowly and steadily moving towards all my younger years. I recalled all those moments when my Grand dad read to me, while I created a world from his words. Those moments when I greeted him, as he reached home from work and sheepishly peeked to see which book he brought home today. To those moments when I climbed every piece of furniture, to reach my Dad’s topmost bookshelf and stood confused at the names I didn’t understand. To those moments when my sister hid her face behind a book, while I sat watching the ‘idiot box.’ To all those moments when I saw every important loved one get lost into them while I just felt pure serenity around them.

These books took me back to me…my family. In these books, I have lived my entire life and continue growing through them. Their existence makes me crave for knowledge and happiness. Its true when its said that a book can make you travel the world. Today what surprised me was the fact that it didn’t only make me travel the author’s world…it made me feel my own universe too.

Amrita Das

I have been a travel and culture independent journalist. My bylines have appeared in many publications worldwide including National Geographic Traveller India, Lonely Planet Magazine India, The Indian Express and World Travel Magazine. A fellow of Media Ambassadors India-Germany 2019 program by Robert Bosch Stiftung and Centre for Media Competence, University of Tübingen. Currently, I am the photo editor for RoundGlass Sustain, a wildlife and conservation e-publication. I live in India.

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3 thoughts on “Hardbound-soft memories”

      1. Totally agree with you Amrita, they do have sweet charm, the dark hardbound with that glittering gold letters engraved on them.

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