For me the word cover means the brown jacket that my mom used to put on my school books. I remember, at the start of every school year my mom used to cover my books with a brown paper. I never did it because it was my mom’s duty. I remember my only duty regarding covers was to tear them.
Few weeks back I borrowed a book from a colleague for official purpose. Actually it was text book to help me refresh few concepts. I had a look at the concepts and told myself that here, Prof Google would be much more helpful. Another colleague needed the book and I gave the book to her.
The colleague returned me the book with few pages falling off the book. She was smiling and I knew I was in trouble. I was still working on the same project and decided that I could delay breaking my colleague’s heart. I made one mistake. I took the book and tossed it at the end of my desk.
Yesterday the colleague who had lent me the book came to my desk. We chatted for a while and he left after telling me that I must ask the office peon to bind the book. I took the book to the office peon for binding and the office peon told me that spiral binding is for manuals, not books.
I came back to my desk and thought about getting the book binded at personal cost. It was a good idea with only one flaw. I didn’t know anyone who binded books in Pune. I had a look at the book and realized the book was still in a good shape. All I needed to do was to paste few pages using gum and do something that would ensure the book’s condition didn’t deteriorated until I finished the project. The answer was simple. All I had to do was to put a cover on the book.
There is a stationery store near my home. I can get the shiny brown book cover from there. However, I return from office so exhausted that I can’t make a detour just to buy a roll of brown paper and the shop opens after I leave for office. This left me with the second best option. Cover the book with a newspaper.
Today I reached office with a sheet of TOI. I opened the sheet and thought how I am going to do it. I had heard about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). It says to make things happen, you need to first imagine them in your mind. I imagined for ten minutes how I was going to cover the book and reached the conclusion that NLP was invented so that people could philosophically procrastinate. I decided to Google how to cover a book but before I could type it in the search bar, I heard a noise behind me.
The noise was made by a colleague who sits behind me. She was putting her scarf, purse and mobile on her desk. I thought it would be below mine and Prof Google’s dignity to search for how to cover a book when help was standing behind me.
I wished her Good morning and shot the question, “Do you know how to cover a book?” She said yes and I asked for help. She took the sheet, told me it was too big and she hardly remembered how to cover a book. Anyway it was not her mom but she who used to put covers on her book and had practiced enough to cover the book I wanted. It was like riding a bicycle. You may have not ridden one for years but once you hit few pedals, you do it as good as it should be.
She gave me the covered book and told that she felt nostalgic for the good old days. I too felt nostalgic for the old days when my mom used to give me freshly covered books with a request of not ruining them. She told me about her school days when she used to put brown cover and then a plastic cover on her books. I was tempted to say I would have been saved of the reprimands and occasional beating if my mom had enough time and energy to do it. I didn’t say so because it could have started a rumor in office that I was an expert in ruining even the nicely covered books and then no one would lend me books.
The colleague told me about her days when she used to sit through boring lectures to make notes. It made me remember of my days when I used to bunk classes to watch movies and pass exams all thanks to the girls who attended boring lectures and made notes. I told her so and she said the same happened with her. Several boys used to borrow her notes. Talk about the more the things change the more they remain the same and you won’t find a better example. At least not me.
The colleague went back to her desk after asking me, “If you don’t how to cover books then how would you have the fun of covering your kids books?” My reply to her was, “If covering books is fun then my wife can have as much fun as she wants.”
To sum up
Most of the people reading my blogs think either I work in the craziest office ever or I make up stories for my blog. None of them is true. The truth is I knew this even before I read it somewhere – Humor makes life worth the effort.