Yesterday, I went for a small outing that involved the post office. I was supposed to speed post something to a friend, and my parents, who insisted on doing it, forgot. So, I went walking yesterday afternoon, with m big white headphones on, music playing, and walked the one-point-something kilometer to the closest post office.
Halfway to the post office, I felt someone say, “Hey!” Startled, I turned around to see this guy I know, who owns a juice shop, right opposite to where we were standing. His shop opened up a little while after we moved to the area, and because our salon was right opposite to it, Akka and I almost always went there. And when I go walking, long roads away from home, I end up taking a break at the place, drinking some sort of chocolate milkshake.
I hadn’t seen him for a long time. When I told him that, he said a new branch of his shop opened at Banneghatta road. When he asked me why I haven’t come around, I fumbled with my words, saying some shit about how I had exams and stuff.
Well, I couldn’t exactly tell him that I had no clue what I was going to do with life, that I just spent time reading and contemplating and day-dreaming impossible dreams (they were impossible because I was day-dreaming them) and thinking how much time I had on my hands and how I was just doing practically nothing. Better to fumble on lies to a near-stranger.
His shop came by and we parted ways, with me promising to stop by his shop for a drink. I trudged further, until I saw a mobile library.
I have seen them around in random places before. They are fascinating. They look like old, normal buses from the outside, but on the inside, they have shelves lining the two long walls. Filled with books. And it was such a cute little place. One wall was full on Kannada books, all thin and worn out. The other wall had shelves with English, Hindi and Tamil and Telugu books. The books themselves weren’t fascinating, but the idea of it, the idea to deliver a library to areas was fascinating.
It might sound weird, but I’d never had a library subscription in my life. Wherever I lived, I never lived close to a library, and my family bought me books that I wanted now and then, so I didn’t think I wanted to. And so, I didn’t make myself a member for this library. I would’ve liked to, but the thought of giving up books that I loved is too much to bear.
I went to the JP Nagar post office, saw that it was crowded, saw no one working at the speed post centre/stamp counter, I just turned on my heel and left. I hated that post office. The people were arrogant and horrible. I hailed an auto to go to the post office in Jayanagar. I could’ve taken a bus; would’ve saved my 30 rupees, but oh well. I hadn’t walked so far in a long time, so I treated myself. I took a bus back, though. Then I walked back the one-point-two kilometer home.
I had to stop by an ATM for cash, so I decided to stop at the one near my own bank. There’s a cross road just before it, and I paused to take off my head phones and pause my music. When I looked up, a school van whizzed by, and the boy sitting in front curiously looked at me. I smiled at him; he smiled back. I waved; he waved so happily that my heart hurt. The boy had some sort of a mental disability, but I was so happy to see him happy.
This was probably the highlight of my week.
And I went back to his shop for a milkshake. He didn’t have plain chocolate; he never does, so I tried the black forest. It was cake. But it was okay. We chatted for sometime, about my head phones and how I’m always wearing it. He even tried it on himself. I took the parcel of Mango juice from him; it looked like it was about to rain. It always does these day. Ashaada jadi, is what we call it. He said, “Run off home, okay?” And I just grinned and walked off.
Like I was going to run.