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Friday, March 29, 2013

27th Jan 2013

Had been to the Strand Book Stall Sale at Sunderabai Hall. was done with my purchases . Before leaving i stopped to meet Mr Shenvi, who manages the store. requested him to keep aside a few books for my dad. Yeah, the sale opened yesterday and some titles have already vanished.

As i was leaving i noticed an elderly lady smile at me. She initiated the conversation. "I am Mrs Shanbhag, My husband owned this store", she said "thanks for dropping by and do come again. again and again , as many times as you want. " " i am not saying this as an advertisement for the store" she added

i was pleasantly surprised. and very pleased. to meet her in person. Spoke to her for a while. about being the 2nd gen Hegde to be a regular at the shop . anuradha who did not know anything abt the legacy of Strand other than the fact that her Ajja always and her mom sometimes got their books from there, was today introduced to the Shanbhags and reintroduced to Strand Book Stall. From an absolute non reader, she has now started enjoying our trips to the Strand sale, making a few purchases of her own.

And as we came home i found myself talking to her. about strand, about mr shanbhag, about how tht was the first store which encouraged readers to sit in and browse . about how they offered discounts on every book bought, just so that reading is encouraged. about how her grandpa reads , and finds about many more titles which would interest him, about how because of the long standing relation with this bookstore , they source those books for him, keep them for him ,, About how good i feel when i talk to the people there and introduce myself as Mr Hegde's daughter, about my first trip to the store .About my Strand Bookstall stories. About how, she is now the 3rd gen frm the khaandaan to be a strand patron. a senti conversation we had.

And i realised this was one of those very very rare occasions where i was speaking so passionately to the daughter. sharing. wanting her to feel, wanting her to understand. wanting her to remember. and she was listening intently and was enjoying the tales i told her. This was one of the really rare occasions where we were having a connect. most , yess , most of our conversations are nothing but a verbal duel.

i can be the overbearing sort of a mother , who thinks I know best. and she is the determined sort of a kid who thinks, "huh !! so what'?" we are most dissimilar in our likes, dislikes, preferences .... I have moped for the longest time -"Oh why isnt she like me ?" (while the parivar thanked god for that !) . i might have been guilty of holding it against her too.

Hey bhagwaan, give me the wisdom to handle this brat . . to relax and support her as she takes a step in a direction she thinks is right. grant me the wisdom to not yell out a " if only u had listned.." each time she stumbles . to allow her to walk free, light ....unburdened by my expectations. to let her be her.