Guest Post: Vaidehi Venkatadriagharam

I am very pleased to feature a short story sent to me by Indian blogger and writer Vaidehi.

Here is her short bio.

Vaidehi writes travel stories, short stories and haiku poems on her blog “Weary feet…Happy soul” at http://www.vvaidehi.wordpress.com. She is based in New Delhi, India.

ABANDONED

I am old and frayed now. Nevertheless, I am classy, one of substance and not like the new ones on the block. And yet, here I am, abandoned and lonely.

When I was young and in good company, I had many admirers and conversations in elegant circles revolved around me. Life was good.

Over the years, I was slowly relegated to the background. At first, to the back of the shelf and then to the trunk in the attic. But nobody can deny that I was and still am the best in deductive crime fiction. The characters that unfold as you turn my pages are still alive in the minds of people. I am told that they are still making films and serials with my main characters.

All this crowding and jostling in the trunk exasperate me. Even a trash can would be better than this! Soon, I was picked up with several others of my clan and shoved into, you guessed it right, the trash can. Talk to me about a self-fulfilling prophecy!

Abandoned and hurt, I had no faith in humankind. After a long and painful journey, I lay in the dump and resigned myself to being shred or burnt or just left to decay.

I woke up from my stupor when a gloved hand picked me up and crammed me into a coat pocket. “Now what?” I thought. I dimly remember that I passed through several hands over the next few days, none that is worth mentioning.

So, I was pleasantly surprised when the young woman looked at me with interest and I felt the care in her touch. She cleaned my red leather cover carefully, removing the smudges and stains of years of neglect and the rough and tumble of the last few days. My title glittered again and I shone like a new coin.

What does a book want? To be handled carefully, to be read with interest and to be valued. She did all this and much more.

I had been with her for quite some time when, one day, she picked me up, put me in her handbag and left for work. I was enjoying the snug ride when she took me out, put a paste-on note on my cover and placed me gently by her side on the metro train seat. I was quite happy to have a separate seat and looked around brimming with pride, to check if anyone had noticed. But I am sad to say that all of them were engrossed with a gadget held in their hands.

As my owner got up to alight, I looked up at her expectantly. To my dismay, she moved to the door, glanced back at me and got off. What? Abandoned again?

I sat there clueless and despondent. While several passed, an elderly man stopped in front of me, read the note and picked me up. Smiling, he flipped through the pages and put me in his bag. My stay with him was brief but wonderful as he too read and valued me. A few days later, I was left by him deliberately on one of the benches of a metro station.

So, here I am, lying abandoned on the metro for the umpteenth time and waiting for yet another eager reader to pick me up. I have learnt now that I am a part of a social project “book on the Delhi metro”. Books are left at prominent places on the metro trains and stations, to be picked by interested readers, who would leave the books again for others. Thus, the chain of readers continues.

Needless to say, I now love being abandoned!

If you would like to connect with her, or read more from her blog, here is another link.
https://vvaidehi.wordpress.com/

56 thoughts on “Guest Post: Vaidehi Venkatadriagharam

  1. Nice to read your amazing story vidhehi madam.
    I m also from india.
    Stay home and stay safe.
    Covid situation is very worse outside.
    Takecare.
    Keep blogging.
    Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A lovely gentle story and who knows what journeys books have been on. A friend just posted on Facebook a picture of a tiny community library help yourself. She left an autographed copy of he new novel there.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Lovely. I found a book in Paris, part of a similar scheme. It’s a lovely idea, and it’s great to know books love it too. Thanks for introducing us to Vaidehi and her stories, Pete, and take care.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Mary. I haven’t seen any similar schemes locally, but many people are leaving books outside their houses with a card that says ‘Free to take’.
      I really loved this short story.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I actually think that’s a better way, Pete as the Book Crossing things means signing up and getting things to stick in the book explaining the project – easier to to say ‘Free to take’. I’ve seen a few such signs, not only for books but for fruit and veg, too.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I very much enjoyed this story. A couple of years ago, I put a new copy of my book in a community bookcase located in the clubhouse of an upscale complex called the Manhattan Condominiums here in Las Vegas. I checked back periodically, and even moved the book to different shelves, but to no avail. No one ever bothered to select it from among the other available titles. I know this because the book never moved from where I’d put it previously. I no longer have access to the complex, so I often wonder if someone eventually discovered the book and read it. Maybe I should have left the book on a city bus with a note?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Such a great story. I was once an avid member of a website ‘BookCrossing’ where books were left ‘in the wild’ for others to read. I love hearing Vaidehi’s story from the book’s point of view. Good job! Thank you for sharing, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

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