21st June 2003

Sharing another memory. One I can never forget. 

I was a teenager. Just entered my teens. And just like any other book nerd my age was in love with Harry Potter. Scratch that. Was obsessed with Harry Potter. So it was with that eagerness and zealousness that I entered the only bookstore in my city I knew would be carrying Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. But alas. The bookstore only had the expensive hard copies in stock and not the paperback. Or maybe they did have have paper back but I remember I only had Rs. 500 rupees then and I couldn’t afford the books. 

I stood there with the book in my hand. Clutching it as if my life depended upon it. And I remember looking at the faces of people who were leaving with the book in their hands, their happy faces and thinking why I couldn’t be one of them. Why couldn’t I leave with this book that I adore equally as much as they do or probably more. 

And I returned the book back on the shelf. Gave the shopkeeper a smile and left, knowing fine well he would return a smile in pity. But I didn’t wait long enough for it. 

MAybe it was then I dediced of all the emotions and feelings I would let people have about me, pity will never be it. I will try my utter best to  never let my guard down and let people feel pity towards me. 

I came back home dejected. Actually no I went to my khala’s place. And they all gave me that pity smile again. And I didn’t say anything. Said I’ll read it later when the cheaper paperback or old book shops get it in stock. 

That evening I remember I was sitting in my cousins room. Probably re reading the Harry Potter books for the umpteith time and (now I thank my stars there was no internet then to imagine seeing everyone boasting about having read it aaahh, let’s not go there!!) my khala called me outside. 

My cousin was there all smiling and happy. 

I asked what’s up and my khala’s like come on. Just show it to her. 

In his hands he had Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. 

I remember screaming. I remember jumping. I remember not crying though (maybe it came later) but I remember feeling like I’m floating on cloud 9. 

My khala’s voice brought me back to the world when she asked so who is going to read it first, are you both going to share. And then my cousin held up his other hand and said no way. I bought two. 

This was happiness too 🙂 

I can never ever thank him enough for giving me the best present ever. I think he’s probably forgotten this too but I know I’ll never forget this day till my last. 

I’ll probably tell this story to his kids now. So maybe they can copy some of the compassion he showed me that day. 

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