walk a-musing

Monday, November 24, 2008

Jigsaws - Inspired by Rajk

Rajk's jigsaw puzzle brought back lovely memories. I too have always loved jigsaws though I don't remember having any when I was a kid. Later on I am sure I enjoyed my nieces' and nephews' puzzles as much as they did. One delightful memory is of racing my nephew as we both worked on two different but same numbered jigsaws.

Then there is the memory of "Shakku". My dear niece visited me in Singapore in 2003. We had a delightful two weeks of sightseeing, shopping, eating out and so on. And then there was the outbreak of SARS. Holidays were declared, schools were shut and we were advised not to go out too much. So we were stuck at home. V received daily home work from school on the net. causing Shru and V both turning whole heartedly against modern technology for a while. I had recently bought a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. It was the painting of a pretty Chinese maiden in ancient dress standing in a forest surrounded by deer, hares, birds and even a couple of monkeys. Someone commented that it was the Chinese Shakuntala. Soon she was affectionately being called "Shakku". You could hear "I will start assembling Shakku, will you join me?" Apart from the small worry of SARS, the three of us spent some relaxing and enjoyable three or four days piecing together Shakku.

Of course H, having just returned from Hong Kong will also vividly remember sleeping in the drawing room for a week on self imposed quarantine.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Book shop is closing

Our charity book shop is closing down next month. We came to know about it only two days ago. Naturally I am feeling really bad about it. We had not been making much profit these days, many regular volunteers had moved on and we had trouble finding new ones. But the shop meant a lot to many of us, both volunteers and regular customers.
For the last six months or so, whenever I was working, I was there really early in the morning, after dropping V off at school. I loved the sight of the shop as soon as I unlocked the front door. The rough wooden floor, the book lined walls, the smell of old books and the silence, the peace. I usually checked the mail, the rota, sent off a request for help to fill any gap in the rota, read the message book and then with an hour to spare before the other volunteer turned up and we opened the shop, I went upstairs, made myself a cup of tea and settled down to browse through any new books that had arrived. I will miss all this enormously.
I will miss the companionship of fellow volunteers. I will miss all the friendly customers. The elderly gentleman who always bought books on mathematics and philosophy. The lady who looked for good books for her grandchild. The University employee who came in at his break time. The Pakistani mother always looking for educational books for her kids. I will miss seeing the joy on a customer's face when I located in the store upstairs the book she had been searching for a long time.
Of course the shop was not run for the sake of volunteers or customers, but to make money for a cause. Since that was not being done to the desired extent, it had to go. But some of us will miss it sorely.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Last Leaf On The Tree

Autumn is in. Has been for some time now. I am trying desperately to keep away the leaves from the huge oak tree in one of the neighbour's garden from invading my house. Every time I open the front door a few leaves step in uninvited. I have also been watching the leaves fall from the tree in my back garden. Yesterday morning when I was having my breakfast in the kitchen and watched the tree, I saw there were only three leaves and then soon there were just two and then finally, one. I rushed my son to photograph the tree.

Because it reminded me of something I had read a very long time ago.

I have a feeling a couple of others will know what it is, and they will write here and if they don't I will. Does it remind anyone else of anything?