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Sunday, May 22, 2011
That Book That Story
My friend had once lent me a book almost 11 years back....well, lent is not the word really, she had brought it with her to work, and while lunch/dinner breaks (we worked in shifts too), she would take it out of her bag and begin to read, totally lost to the world around her, just as only a true book lover can.
I asked her what the book was about and she told me it was about an Irish family, four generations of it, a family that begins as coal mine workers and later go on to own a mine, or something like that (just a little confused whether they get on to own the mine or not). Well, it sounded really interesting, especially as I love these kinds of 'family' stories a lot, especially the ones that deal with generation leaps. So I promptly 'booked' the book as 'borrowed' and took it home once she finished reading it.
It was a great story, one that still comes back to me after all these years, with its intense and real characters, with a strong storyline that I still wish I could read again. The lovely family, the children, the parents, the relatives, the friends, the family sitting down together by the fireplace for meals, the discussion, the events, everything was too real and too interesting.....I was so engrossed in the book that all my free hours were taken over, much to the irritation of my family. The story was building up towards a great climax and I was dying to reach there.....just as I turned the page to start the last chapter....horror of horrors...I realised that the pages were gone !!!! Just like that....the entire book was there except those last pages of an entire chapter. I could not believe it..I immediately called my friend and she apologised, saying some little child of the family had ended up tearing the pages and she too found out later after giving me the book. The child had apparently tore the pages and they had been thrown off, without a thought :(
The worst - she had bought the book at a flea market, it was probably already 4 5 owners old by the time it had reached her. The covers were torn, so that I had no idea of the name of the book as even the first few pages of the book were missing, I had started reading it from the second page....and it was one of the books that does not have the name of the book on each page (I think this should be made mandatory!!)
I copied the pages of the book (a few of them) and searched for years. I searched in all major and small stores, taking the pages with me, hoping with my heart that someone would recognise the story.....it went on for years....many years later, I have even lost those last few remaining pages now....but I wish I could someday lay my eyes on a story that I know is the one I am looking for.... How I wish...
That one story...that has remained someway with me for all these years, buried in my thoughts, but still very much alove....
- Debolina Raja Gupta