When I decided to give away a section of my modest collection of books [owing to the burgeoning space crunch for books back at home], and advertised the same on a few online websites like olx and quickr, I got many responses, and quite a few interesting ones too. There were students who were asking for good books on Literature, a private Arts & Science College librarian asking for books to ‘fill up’ their College library, a couple of schools enquiring if i had books for school children and to give the same to them for a subsidized price.
One particular response startled me! It said, ‘Sir, please I want to get the books from you. Will you please have it with you till next week?. I love reading books sir pls.. I shall take them from you next week for sure, as right now, we’re running short of the new currency!’
I was quite impressed, as it was a message that radiated a great love for books. Moreover, since I was giving a whopping collection of my favourite books at a very nominal (token) sum, I didn’t want them to land in the hands of commercial-minded people!
So choosing to ignore the other messages of enquiry in my inbox that made a beeline for the books, I replied to this particular lady,
‘Okay mam! Sure. I can wait for a week, if it’s for your own personal use and not for commercial purposes!
And as she had promised, she called back a week later, and asked if they could come and have a look at the books!
I invited them over to have a look at my modest collection this last Sunday.
Both husband and wife had come all the way from Porur on a bike, to have a look at the books.
Meeting the couple for the first time ever,
I ushered them in, made them feel comfortable at home and after the traditional hospitality, with all curiosity in my inquisitive eyes,
I asked the husband,
‘Sir, I’m just curious! Could you tell me why you need such a lot of books?’
The husband, who was enthusiasm personified all through, said,
‘Sir, to be honest, I’m a carpenter! I work in Guindy. My wife has a great passion for reading. Ever since our marriage, she hasn’t asked me for earrings, nose studs or costly jewellery of any sort or even expensive sarees. All that she’s asked me thus far, is to get her books to read. She was browsing the web last week on the watch out for good books, when she chanced upon your irresistible offer, and she asked me if we could get them, and I said ‘yes, we can’!
Now the lady continued from where her hubby had left, and said, ‘Sir, he’s very supportive of me. I don’t like watching television at all. But he’s just the opposite. He always makes sure that the remote is on his right hand, the moment he lands home!
‘Ha, ha! That’s true, sir, he smiles noddingly. “You see, I am a carpenter, and carpentry is all about just skilled labour. I don’t have the need to read anything. After finishing my HSC, I landed here in Chennai for being trained in carpentry, and so after I come home, I don’t have anything else to do, other than watching TV”, he beams!
I appreciated him lots, and told him, ‘So happy sir, that you’re encouraging your wife to do what she likes, and that’s the best gift a husband can give his wife!’
“Yes, sir! I wish that she should somehow come to a great position in life, like a Collector, a Bank Officer or something like that…”, he says, with a naïve confidence brimming in his visage all through.
“Only yesterday, he got an order for carpentry work, and with the token advance in his hands, he immediately asked me to call you up so that we can come and take the books”, she says.
“So happy for you, madam. You’ve got a very supportive and a caring husband. Since you have a great passion for books, I would like to give you yet another one hundred books for free, to your collection”
The lady was much overjoyed on hearing this news.
Now I asked the husband, ‘Sir, you’ve come by bike. But these books need atleast a medium-sized sedan to get them all in!’
‘Well, Sir’ he replies, ‘to be honest, I didn’t expect books would be this much. I just thought, I can place some on the front of my bike, and some on the pillion, asking her to hold them on!
Then, I hit upon an idea! I dialed a taxi, and helped them in getting the books into the cab.
Before getting onto his bike, the husband said with a cheerful radiance, ‘Sir, please come home sometime to see how many books she has got for herself this past one year!’
‘I will surely come one day sometime by the end of this month, as I am really awestruck at madam’s passion for books, and your great motivation for your wife!’
Before they could move on, the lady says to me in a tone of request, ‘Sir, please, if you want to give away your other collections, please please please… give a call to my husband. We would be glad to get them over’.
Now, still curious, I asked her, ‘how are you going to accommodate all these books in your house? Do you have enough shelves for them all?’
She replies with a smile rebounding on her already delighted face,
‘Sir, you know something? I’ve asked him to make me two good cupboards for holding all my books!”
“Yes, sir. That’s my next assignment!” he says, commitment personified.
And he went on…
“I don’t mind making her even ten cupboards. I am so happy that my wife loves books. Till now, I didn’t know the value of books, sir. Only after our marriage, she enlightened me to appreciate the real value of books! Now, I will do anything to get her whatever books she wants! I hope my dream comes true, sir. We need your blessings and prayers”, he said, even as they bid adieu to me, and me to my books!
PS: Friends, if you have any good reads that you’ve read it once or twice over, and have them sitting pretty at home, why not give it away to like-minded readers who are raring to go for good books by the dozen! Yes! please don’t let your books sit [rust!] idle at home. Give them over to good hearts.
You may also want to give them to this passionate couple! I shall pass on his (Mr. Duraivelu) visiting card to you to call him up and connect with him to give away your books or even for your home-based carpentry needs. He's literally enthusiasm personified, i bet!
And before I wind up, here’s wishing them both years and years of happy reading and a happy married life too!