Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Reading In Bed When Cold Rains Killed The Spring



When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason. In those days, though, the spring always came finally but it was frightening that it had nearly failed.
-Ernest Hemingway (A Movable Feast)
The bright spring morning and the promises it held was a deception; and as I bent over the sink washing my face and trying to rub off a pillow imprint, I could hear the first drops of rain. The sky was overcast with dark clouds; blotting out the sun and it’s tinseled rays, that had entered my window at dawn and had spread so unabashedly over my bed as I tried to hold on to the last remnants of sleep. As the downpour grew steadily, I looked longingly at my bed, overwhelmed by a strong desire to climb back into it, snug under a quilt and a book in hand. The human brain makes innumerable connections, and a certain stimuli can bring about the need to re-create a pleasurable ambience from the past. Rain for me meant being in bed with a book.

My earlier disappointment at a cloudy day ebbed off as I eyed my books, running my fingers over the spines that had seen better days and careful owners. I had picked up these books last winter, squatting on a footpath and haggling over prices while precariously balancing a dozen books on my hands. And now I stared at these dozen new books, trying to decide on a good volume of short stories. I’d started reading Hemingway’s ‘A Movable Feast’ yesterday, but today’s a ‘cloudy’ spring day, and I want to read short stories, and will get back to Hemingway when the sun comes out. I tried to recall the passage I had read before drifting off to sleep last night; about hunger making the senses grow stronger, as pictures seem clearer and writing more vibrant. I was yet to have breakfast, and my mind was quick to paint the picture of a foamy cup of coffee and homemade vanilla cake while leafing through the familiar writing of a favorite author.