Tuesday, January 10, 2012


My wedding present to myself arrived today.

The new bookshelf we ordered is wide enough to hold it for sure. I think the little cubbyholes in the wall unit are meant for decoration, so I bought decor I can read and dream on and sleep with.

For three thousand one hundred and sixty eight rupees, I have twelve new volumes which I will one day stamp with a custom-made stamp saying "From the library of Sarah and Emaad." One day, I will donate one or more of these treasures and someone will flip to the first stamped page and say here is someone who loved very much and the beauty will multiply like caterpillars building cocoons in a bicycle basket. Twelve to add to a few dozen more which I will take with me, twelve to subtract from the few dozen I leave behind. On hot, brooding afternoons in July, I will take them out of the growing-older shelf, dust off the less-loved ones and arrange them by author, by subject, by title.

And when the first rush of newness-of the books, of my life, of everything-has passed, I will have old friends and new ideas waiting to be held. I will dream with Marquez, imagine with Roy and pontificate on politics with Said and Ahmed. On a rainy afternoon, I will cry about war, celebrate humanity and perfect my Urdu with Faiz and Manto. Perhaps on a bad tutoring day I will fall back on the Elements of Grammar and after a long one, retire with Pattanjali and his yoga sutras.

I am not getting married because I don't want to be alone. I have too much to read to worry about that.

I am getting married because I am excited to share my books and my love and my life with my best friend in the world.

Until then, my new present is waiting to be opened.