When was the last time you recalled a tattered book, lying on your book shelf? Tattered not out of neglect, but out of over reading and overt expressions of affection holding the book close!
Anamika as if spoke for me and about my thoughts in ways more than one.
She like me was studious, ambitious and witty but yet withdrawn for other kids failed to understand her love for weird books of poetry and philosophy.
As a lonely child she explained that I too would have taken to R the way she did when he first met him during the initial years of her life.
Admiration from a 2 decades elder married man made Anamika looked upon R as the friend she never had. Laced with urdu shaayri and ghazals, the duo spoke in terms which only like minded people enjoy, went philosophical and rocked to music, which her other counter parts rolled their eyes at. She made being swept away seem the most perfect thing to do for any girl!
So to me Anamika was not wrong when she fell in love with R – it was more about her finding the confidant she never had. Anamika stood through the pages as the mis-understood young girl, whose love turned to the biggest enemy of her most cherished relationship.
Through her whirl wind romance and failed marriage after R left, somehow she spoke to me that once the heart still belongs to someone, no matter how hard you try to be the perfect partner you can never be the soul mate.
A rendezvous again with R, made me believe that dreamers too survive with their poetry laced eyes. Her struggle and dubiety being torn between her son and R made me aware of how much a woman has to endure to maintain a fine balance between complicated relationships.
R’s death news just when she had decided to return to him re-iterated that perfect relationships are all imaginary in life and almost life-like books.
The way Anamika buried her emotions for the rest of the life made look at her in awe for her acceptance that the world will never understand a few relationships.
R living on with her through her red sarees for he loved her in them, or the kajal in her eyes, soothed how sometimes people become habits and live on with us that way – through us – consciously, sub consciously and unconsciously.
The bonds with the grand daughter touched me, as they exchanged love-quotes – it made me hope that I can pass on my passions to my womb-connects without imposing it on them.
Mis-fit childhood, forbidden youthful love, marriage in haste, attempt to be the perfect mother, giving into the desire during mid life and coming to terms old age – when has a character being so encompassing to speak about your entire lifetime in 200 odd pages? Anamika has – I have witnessed.