I wonder if it still exists. That cobweb streaked library in the alley next to Holy Angels convent in Trivandrum. A nondescript space crammed with bleary eyed books that spoke in a strange tongue to my five year old mind. Every Tuesday, I would arrive there, clinging to my mother’s hand. Waiting till I could pry myself away from her watchful eyes and creep to the corner most shelves. In search of that warm, feathery feeling I knew and loved. There I flicked off the tiara of dust off many a book and opened them, strumming a clump of yellowing pages to listen to their crispy chatter. I would finish the ritual by dunking myself in its clammy, mouldy odours. ‘Ammu, have you selected your book?’ she asked. Her voice like a murmur from the past.
A five year old girl nodded back,her toothpick arms wrapped around a hardbound book of fairies.A book that she smelled more than I read.
And that was how I began collecting memories.