It was another hot and humid day in March. 19 years back. The daughter was going for her first board exam. The exam center was not her own school. The parents were eager to make their little girl all comfortable. So they hired a yellow taxi and both accompanied her on the first day of the exam.
The center was not far from her own school or home. But for the first BIG exam of their daughter, the parents could not take a chance. So armed with pens, rulers, a clipboard, and her parents’ company the girl set off for her destination. There was an eerie silence in the vehicle. Perhaps the parents were expecting the girl to revise some study on the way. But the student was busy checking the roads outside. Last month she had been mostly indoors, studying and preparing.
“Just another turn and the school will be there,” the father announced. But the girl’s attention was fixated on a building on the other side of the road. The board flashed the name in big bold letters, Landmark(later renamed as Starmark), the bookstore.
“Baba, on the last day we will visit here. Okay?”
She doesn’t remember what was the father’s reaction. But on the last day after the examination, she had proudly walked inside the store.
It was the biggest bookstore she had ever visited. A space flooded with a plethora of books. The girl felt completely lost.
There was an ocean in front of her. Those days there were no social media or book groups to her rescue. With not many reader friends also in her circle, she relied heavily on her grandfather’s recommendations. He had once suggested she check Jeffrey Archer. So off she went and picked up The Prodigal Daughter by the same author. The blurb looked promising.
“Have you read Kane and Abel by the same author?”
A kind-looking stranger had asked. He was also rummaging the shelf for some desired book.
Timidly she nods her head.
This the first Jeffrey Archer she was trying, she confessed.
The man then scanned the rack and pulled out another book from the next shelf. “Read this first,” he had suggested.
I think we book lovers can smell our fellow angels. Believing him blindly, off she went home with her copy of Kane and Abel. Read it in the next 2-3 days. And then have perhaps revisited it four or five times. Archer’s other books have danced into her reading list in the future but Kane and Abel started it all. William Lowell Kane and Abel Rosnovski sealed their place in the young reader’s heart forever.
Now 19 years later the girl found one of her favorite reading groups nominating the same book as Book of the Month. So off she went to her bookshelf to re-read her one-time favorite book and here she is proudly displaying an almost twenty-year-old copy.
The girl is today writing this blog to share one of her fondest book memory. Because books are friends, books are nostalgia.
P.S. The Prodigal Daughter, my first choice is an equally good book if not better and it is a sequel to Kane And Abel. It is the story of Florentyna Rosnovski, the daughter of Abel Rosnovski.
I’m participating in the #TBRChallenge by Blogchatter