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My favourite book-reading corners

I'm in a heady mood today and the weather is egging me on. Its been raining intermittently over the last week, and I've been dying to find the time to sit by the window, the rain lashing at it, while I sip my tea and turn the pages of the book at hand. Also, this weekend comes after numerous ones when both S and me have been extremely busy, so that relaxation seemed a distant luxury. Its nearing 6 in the evening now, the breeze is soothing and the sun is getting hazier behind the cottony grey clouds. I am thinking of all the nice little spots where I have managed to curl up and read, and then some more which I wish to come across eventually.

1. This is where I first dipped into the world of books; by the double-paned wooden windows was my single bed, where I lounged after school (back when additional tuition classes had not begun ruining my life). I remember reading my first Hardy Boys there there.To this day, the greenish, glittering beams of sunlight filtering through the flimsy canopy of the peepal tree fills my heart with warmth.

2. Study tables are amazing. I've always loved them, though I've barely managed to keep them tidy. My Dad, unable to bear the mess anymore, used to clean the table while I was asleep. And then I could actually keep a book on it without sending a heap of stationery tumbling to the floor. The concept of table lamps however, did not come into my routine till my post graduation days. I still have very fond memories of reading The Wonder That Was India under the yellowing light of the old, Pixar-type lamp. I would often prop up my feet on the table and lean back on the chair and read for hours then, occasionally folding legs this and that to keep them from cramping.

The flowers were occasional, of course...
3. I shall never forget the first time I discovered James Herriot. It was a beautiful hardbound compilation I found stuffed between more popular titles on the groundfloor of my school library, and that, henceforth, became the one place in my school that was at once my refuge and my playground (considering that I was never really very athletic).

4. Balconies and rooftops are gems when it comes to finding safe, silent nooks to sneak away to to finish the last chapter without having to sing at a birthday party. My hostel life has provided several such rooftops, particularly the one I shared with 10 more girls in my fourth year of graduation.  There was no way I could have read or even studied in peace. The dilapidated, haphazard rooftop was a haven then, especially during overcast days, dawns, twilights. Balconies too have their charm, even if there isn't much of it. The one in my post-graduation was well spaced out enough, but was the site of the evening conference of pigeons, and I didn't want to disturb their routine. Nevertheless, sometimes I would prop myself on the floor, as the sun dipped behind the tall school building opposite the road and grasp the pages hard lest they should flip uncontrollably in the sudden gusts of wind.

5. I have very fond memories of fighting sleep as the setting sun warms my back and the birds chirping on their way back to their nests. Unless, it is stifflingly hot or biting cold, I do not think sitting on a garden chair to read is a fruitful practice, however Victorian it may sound. Its the idea location to read a James Herriot or an Anne of the Green Gables but the atmosphere is so incredibly soothing that it isn't long that I find myself nodding like a bobblehead. My post-graduation hostel had a convenient solution though; the small patch f garden was right outside the canteen, and I remember sitting on the bench, my back to the wall and drinking steaming tea out of a small plastic cup. Heaven. 

6. Sitting next to a rain-lashed window pane (when it s shut of course) is perhaps the biggest source of joy to a book lover. Nothing beats the shadow of running droplets on the pages and the assurance that going out would not solve any purpose besides being dissolved, and the time should thus be spent reading and reading. A mug of hot coffee or a generations of tea are likely accompaniments...


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I am currently reading...

The Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. This is proving to be a very empowering read, which I believe was the whole point of the book anyway. For those judge a book by its cover (which is also pretty badass), it really doesn't seem to even skirt the edges of feminism. At its crudest, it is a collection of stories and their analyses to help rediscover what it means to be a woman. If it sounds redundant, then it goes to show howo much we need this book. 
I must say, books of this kind are not up my alley. It feels too verbose (even by my standards) and the bluntness induced by my utter worldly view of things makes it really difficult for me to penetrate the exuberance of being a woman, as noted in the book. I am just three chapters down, so it wouldn't possibly be wise to quote a favourite right now, but La Loba seems very ethereal. The whole concept of some force (our own, presumably) that can join broken, littered pieces, is deeply appealing. 
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