I remember looking at my parents’s library when I was a child, maybe 7-8 years old. I did not understand a single name or title in there, obviously. After a few years, I came back to those again and read the books by a few popular authors (Jeffrey Archer, John Grisham etc), the others still eluded me. Every few years I would come back and keep discovering new authors and titles that I had heard about somewhere else. Their collection of books was a kind of fantasy land for me and maybe for them too as they don’t really remember which all books they have in there. Sometimes I bought new books and would then find the same book in their Library. We never recorded or arranged their books. I found immense joy in stumbling upon different kinds of books in there. Today, whenever I buy a new book I always wonder whether they have it or not, whether I should first check with them or not. I see no point in doubling books in the same house. But at the same time I never go through their collection looking for something specific. I prefer to go through it with an empty mind, ready to pick up something I had never read before, some old book nobody ever referred to me, some sad tale even Ma doesn’t want me to read, some Indian author I am not aware of, some great first novel by a famous author whose all other new books I have read. It is my own Pandora’s Box, more proud of it then my own library.
P.S. It’s already papa’s 50th Birthday in India right now. Happy Birthday, papa.