I clearly remember the day it arrived. Wrapped in bubble wrap and enclosed in a corrogated sheet, it was home delivered by Flipkart. (No, I had not discovered Amazon yet). It was love at first sight. Its soft black leatherette cover and smooth chrome yellow pages had me swooning. They were so perfect that for days I had not put a pen to them lest I spoilt them.
The notebook was a perfect gift to put the wandering thoughts of an amateur writer to paper and give them some direction. It seemed to have worked well for in the year and a half, if I may say so myself, the thoughts and the words have come a long way. And the notebook too.
The first thing I eventually wrote on it, after my name that is, was something that still remains unpublished -- even on the blog. It was perhaps the most honest piece I ever wrote, a reflection of how I felt at that point in my life. The second, again unpublished, was a short poem. I started to write in it regularly only a few months later, and only the pieces that were important yet hazy in my mind. They somehow found a structure, flow, and meaning once I started to put them on the handsome yellow pages of the notebook. The rest, not so important ones, meanwhile would be written straight on the laptop.
In the last eighteen months since, I have bought, and have been gifted, many more notebooks. Some came from husband, some from brother, and some from a friend, who loves notebooks equally if not more (I wonder if there is a reason why all my gifts come from men). But all of them remain untouched. Some I preserved for my book, and some for my London trip (both still a distant dream). The true reason however, I suspect, was not to let go of this one: the firsts are always closest to your heart, aren't they?
But as they say, everything that begins must, and does, end. And so, the notebook running into its last few pages is also coming to an end. Today therefore, after going through at least ten new notebooks -- most of them matronly and boring -- I finally chose the one closest to this: it has a beautiful embossed cover and it came as a gift from my notebook fanatic friend. Pretending to be excited about a new notebook, I flipped it around, caressed its cover, ran my fingers through its pages; I even wrote my name in it with the most beautiful pen, but I could not feel the connect. In a matter of minutes I had put it away.
And since morning, I have been busy writing in the last few pages of my yellow and black rubberband. Trying to make sense of millions of things that have been going on in my mind. Who knows scribbling in it one last time might just rid me of the everlasting writer's block.
P.S. My first piece from the notebook, lest it gets lost:
Two people live within me.
One is simple, docile, loving, obedient, loyal and practical. Second is complicated, independent, wild, carefree, instinctive, impulsive, passionate and possessive.
The first loves to plan, obey, fall in line, cook, clean, mother, and smother. The other wants to break free, live one day at a time, take risks, wander, sing, dance and love.
Often there is a conflict, and often the first one wins. The second however strong it seems, is mostly treated as an unwanted guest. The world, I know, prefers the first. But it is the second I love.