Mumbai is a city with great energy; driven by the dreams of those who flock here to realize their hopes and aspiration. This gives it a magical vibe as the good fortune can strike any time while you work towards it and a day that starts normally might turn out to be a turning point in a person’s life. I had an experience which gave me a glimpse of this magic of Mumbai.
It was on 8th December 2013 when I was in Mumbai doing my internship there for a month. It was my first week end there which I was eagerly waiting for as I wanted to explore the city. I had no clue of what I was going to do; I first started off to the CST station as I had to buy a ticket for my return back home at the end of the month. As it was a Sunday, the ticket widow was open only till 2:00 pm and my turn didn’t come in that time. While I was waiting for my number to come, I went down to a food stall at the station to have breakfast. I ate an omelet, bread and tea and then bought a Times of India newspaper. I turned the pages of the newspaper to look for the events happening in the city while I was waiting for my turn on the ticket window and found that a ToI Literary festival was going on in Mehaboob Studios in Bandra, I had no clue where it was situated as I was not acquainted much with the city at that point of time. It was the last day of the Lit Fest and there were many events listed for the day. I decided to go there and particularly planned to attend one event of Ruskin Bond and Chetan Bhagat at 6:30 pm, he was being awarded the life time achievement award. I had not read any of his books yet but was familiar with the name and some of the stories which were part of the school’s English literature syllabus; I always wanted to read his book ‘A Little book of Friendship’ which I am yet to get hold of.
From CST I walked to Churchgate station and took a local train to Bandra. I reached Meheboob studious and entered the venue. I joined the book enthusiasts around me and camouflaged in the atmosphere around. I attended some of the events until the awaited event. It was finally time for it; the seating in the lawn was already occupied so I joined the many who were standing all over. The session started, both Chetan Bhagat and Ruskin Bond came on the stage and engaged in discussion of his work and life experiences. It was good to listen to the bits of his life that he shared in the form of small anecdotes.
After the session it was announced that Ruskin Bond will be signing books, I immediately bought his book ‘A Handful of Nuts’ from the book store at the fest and joined the queue. My turn came, I handed over the book to him, we exchanged a few words and he signed it with a smile. I thanked him and left with an exhilarating feeling of holding a book signed by the author itself. It was the first time for me and for book lover; it’s a treat to get a signed copy.
I left for my PG room wondering how a day that seemed to be a mundane one in the morning became a memorable and extraordinary one by the evening. When I left my room in the morning, I had not imagined that I would return back with a Ruskin Bond book signed by him.