(This is the very first episode of an original short story ever written by me. The complete story may contain 5 or more episodes.)
Digging thorough one shelf to another of an old shop of second-hand books, Inder, a handsome Indian boy of 24, was looking for something-different-kind-of book to read at bed time. Not sure what he was actually looking for, but surely not those love stories he had been reading lately.
“Ah! Why do they write so many novels on love?” he said to himself.
Still unsure of what his heart was looking for, he turned to the last shelf and suddenly stumbled onto the pile of books kept by the shopkeeper to be placed on the selves. Frustrated by this unexpected accident, he quickly rearranged the pile and decided to leave. But then, his eyes fell on the pile again, there was a thin book covered in brown Kraft paper without any name, as if some text-book of a school kid.
“What happened? What are you still doing here?” said the shopkeeper, who would have just heard the sound of his tumbling books and rushed to find out the cause.
“I… da…don’t worry sir, I have arranged everything.” Inder said hesitantly.
“Do you want anything or just want to turn the shop upside down?” said the irritated shopkeeper.
Inder took that brown covered book and said,” I would like to buy this one.”
The shopkeeper gave a perplexed look to Inder, he looked at the book and said, “Well, it will be 30 rupees.”
Inder bought the book and went back home. That night he went to bed early, he was tired and didn’t wanted to be late for the meeting of the builder’s association, scheduled next day. He had been looking for the opportunity to crack the deal of the new multi-storey flats in Chandigarh, from several months. And following day was the D-day for the same.
Finally, the contract of the dream project was given to Inder, he was on cloud nine. Next few days went in arranging and signing hectic paper work and formalities. But it was all worth the pain for a budding businessman.
After the period of exhausting fortnight, everything was all set. Now, for the few days Inder could sit back and relax until the engineering company draws the site map and readies everything needed for construction to start. So he decided to spend the days with his favourite timepass to read and write.
That day after coming from office, there were still few hours to go to bed and the best way to spend this time was with his beloved books or write something, so he took out his diary and pen from the drawer and started to think. Just then, he noticed that old mysterious Kraft paper covered book that he bought unexpectedly few days ago. He took the book from his unkempt book shelf, turned the cover and read the title The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
Obviously, he had already read that book in his college days and it was one of his favourites. And then the more obvious questions crept into his mind – why would anyone cover such a famous book in Kraft paper as if wanted to preserve it forever and if so, why would that person sell or exchange it at second-hand book shop? May be the answers were hidden inside the cover. So he unwrapped the brown paper carefully enough not to harm the antic sentiment of the wrapper…
(to be continued… in episode 2:The Unsent Book of Odes)