RICH Stories ( 147)

Microstory 146 – Books

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Before I set out for this travel, I gave a book ” Tiny habits” to my wife and asked her if she can go through the book. I told her it was an instant buy in one of that airports and I had promised myself that I will only buy new books once I complete this one.

I had checked in early and I had enough time at my disposal for the flight. I have been sipping coffee and avoiding book shops ever since my last couple of flights. But this time I told myself that I will not fall into that behavior of buying books instantly. In 2021, I have decided to move to finish reading books on Kindle.

I was initially only interested in whiling away my time. But I slowly moved around the aisles to get hooked on to a book that resonated with me “How India works?” I skimmed through it quickly and I didn’t want to keep that book down. As they say, ” Between the pages of the book is a lovely place to be “.

Earlier I used to take a pic and check the rating and then go for books. So what was so unique in that book? The book in a nutshell, in the first few pages, was a reflection of my professional experience working in India. It was time for billing and I was about to swipe the card when the guy who was billing it asked me to have a look at another book that was placed on the counter. I got swayed by the cover of the book and that was an instant decision. That book title was, ” One small step can change your life”. What had happened to me was an oft-repeated quote, ” Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you have already inside you”.

I came home and noticed that my wife had already finished one-fourth of the book. As Annie Dillard said, ” She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.” The best part is that she started implementing those ideas from the book and shared the below picture with me.

Book review. Tiny Habits (2020)

She was so much in awe with that book and was comparing it with Charles Duhigg’s classic ” Habit” and James Clear’s “Atomic Habits.” Now before my next trip, I can give her two books and say that ” Share with me how I can make more work done in India in one small step and change my life “. No doubt books are portable magic, Now I have figured out how to make that my port of call- to give that book to my wife and get one idea from her.

Microstory 147 – Music

He was sitting in 26D, an aisle seat, my favorite seat. Right from the time that he sat on that seat, he had opened his laptop and was doing sound mixing. I was not sure whether he took a break on the flight. I was standing next to him on the bus to the arrival gate. I noticed that there was somebody else singing nearby him. I was trying to close in and pay more attention. It took me completely by surprise when the boy ( who I thought was a man earlier) got support from his mother ( he repeatedly mentioned Amma). I paused for a moment and looked around on the bus. People were busy texting, calling, complaining, and all this with masks and face shields wrapped around their heads. On the other hand, on the moving bus, you have a mom and son reciting ragas. Both of them were humming and enjoying and it was mesmerizing. They even took potshots at each other when mom was not singing on the right note. I overheard him saying to mom, ” Anand Bhairavi you have to take it at a minor scale”. I was short of words to explain to myself what was going around.

I reached home only to hear another alaap from my younger daughter as she enjoys singing ” Man Kunto Maula” these days.

Today, after completing my walk with a podcast I stopped by to see what these two girls ( my younger daughter’s friends) were doing. It was nice to see them singing a song to their friend on the first-floor balcony. I took a return trip to find out the lyrics of the song. It was ” girls forever”. Earlier I agreed that books are portable magic, and when it comes to music I agree with this one:

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