Bookmarks!

“I am really tired of your any-time-reading habit now.”

His anger was indeed genuine for his co-passenger. She would always carry a book or two in her purse, and open them at every opportune moment.

Order a coffee – and start reading.

Catch a flight – and start turning some pages.

10 extra minutes to spare in the lunch break – squeeze in a book for the dessert.

And he was really annoyed about it now, as he expected his colleague to be a little chatty during their ride from their client’s offsite office to their hotel in that isolated region, their driver didn’t know a syllable of English and the streets of that small town were far asleep to offer any muse on the way.

“And what is that bookmark?” He picked her bookmark lying on the seat of their car and glanced at it in surprise. “This looks like a two-year-old flight ticket.”

“Hey, give it back to me!”

She suddenly broke her saint-like calm and snapped that ticket out of his hand in a jiffy, and then carefully placed it back in her purse.

“I see a lot of tickets there. Do you use all of them as bookmarks?” He managed to get a glance at that pile of tickets in her purse, carefully packed in a metal case.

“Yes.” She closed the zip of her purse, like she was trying to protect her prized possessions from the world.

“And may I know why?” He was trying to hold on to that stand of conversation he had finally managed pull.

She calmly looked back at him, with a smile that he had never seen in the past 6 months they’ve been working on this project, folded her book, and started staring at the emptiness of the streets now.

He thought he had lost her attention, until her found-again-calm voice came from the other side.

“Because every journey has a memory to offer; and some memories claim the right of becoming bookmarks in your story!”

The streets were empty, but her eyes could still follow the kaleidoscope of her bookmarks.

Published by Abhishek Kshirsagar

Just a misguided ghost, trying to find solace in the stories that the streets have to whisper!

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