I walked in a city new to me with only my backpack for company, with no destination in mind, no schedule to adhere to. The streets were crowded with people entering and exiting store after store, with that sense of joy shopping brings plastered on their faces. My hands felt too empty when I saw them holding all their bags. I clutched the two straps of my backpack, a little tighter with every step I took.
There’s so much time to kill, what should I do, I wondered. I could either go where the road takes me, stroll for as long as I want, just taking in the energy of the city and observing the strangers I was surrounded by or I could step into the stores I see lined up and shop, like everyone else. Given my aversion to shopping, it came as no surprise that I chose the former.
Almost a mile more of wandering brought into sight a bookstore. I instantly recognized the place, even though this is the first time I was seeing it. Credits to the person who’s talked so much about it in the past few months that there was no way I would’ve missed it. I picked up my pace; a smile appeared on my face. Satisfaction took over me, all of a sudden, as if I spotted a fortune.
The minute I stepped in there, I felt different. The hustle bustle of the big city and its people dissolved. The shoppers and the treasures they held so dear seemed like a mirage from where I stood. The character of the place, the calmness it instilled pulled me into a deep sea of peace. And I was happy to drown. How time passed after that, I didn’t realize.
For hours, I went through one book after another picking what I wanted from their huge collection. And finally when I opened the doors to become one among the rushing crowd again, I too had a bag. A bag full of books that I couldn’t wait to read. A bag that I now hugged close to heart.
I brought it home, my bundle of joy in the bag, and I saw that a new bookshelf was waiting for me at my bedroom door (thanks to the roommate). One more reason to smile. I couldn’t wait to make space for it in my room, only I realized how hard that was going to be given the size of my room and all the things I already had in it. It didn’t bring down my spirits though – I was ready to give up my bed and curl up in a corner every night, if that’s what it took to accommodate the shelf. Fortunately, I found a way to rearrange things to add the new member in a comfortable setting. And now, my room looks better than ever.
The bookstore I stumbled upon made me happy because I can relate easily when the person who talks so highly of it refers to it hereon. The books made me happy because, well, they always do; there’s no way around it (not that I want one). The bookshelf made me happy because it adds charm to my room.
Abundant happiness. Good life.
Edited to add these pics of the bookshelf –