I parked my car in a part of a neighbouring town I did not know very well. I needed a walk; I had some relationship issues and I felt I had to to clear my head. The weekly market was held in the centre of town and that’s where I was heading for.
A few days ago I’d read a rave review of the latest book by the Indian author, Vikram Seth. I was interested in all things Indian related to my spiritual interests. I thought reading a book about two families during the struggle for independence from Britain in the 1950’s written by a young Indian author could give me another view of the Indian culture. I toyed with the idea to travel to India later that year. The suggested retail price for the book was a whopping $70 and I thought it was best to keep that money as savings for my possible upcoming journey.
Walking along to the market, I passed an antiquarian bookstore, I stopped: leather bound special books, wonderful first editions, an interesting shop window to say the least. Only a few items were shown there, I guess shop windows in harsh daylight are not good for very old books. I took the time to peruse what was there and the thought of going in and ask for “A Suitable Boy” (the title of Seth’s latest) bubbled up in my brain. Of course, it was so counter reality to ask for that book. It had appeared on the Dutch market only a few days ago, why would an antiquarian bookstore have it in its collection?
Yet, I felt pushed, shoved, dragged into the shop by who-knows-what and I asked the formidable shop assistant if she knew the author Vikram Seth and if by any chance they carried his latest publication? She smiled and with arms spread wide she made a swooping gesture and asked me: “Do you think such a book would fit in our collection?” I started laughing and said no, I don’t think so, but if she ever would? I gave her my phone number. By then I heard the clatter of coffee cups from the back of the store. A woman appeared with two flowery porcelain coffee cups and she asked me if I was the one wanting to know about Vikram Seth? She put down the cups and asked me to wait and not leave the shop. She walked to the back of the store and when she returned she held the large white book by Seth in her hands.
When the shop had opened two hours before I walked by, a woman had brought this book in and told the owner that she did not want it anymore and that she was sure that someone would come in today who needed it. She did not want to sell it to the shop owner and I did not have to pay for it. I could have it there and then, but I really wanted to give some money for the extraordinary exchange of energy that had taken place in such a short time span.
I never made it to the market that day. I walked back to my car and drove home. I buried myself in this book for weeks. It was indeed a magical saga in the modern India after1947 at the end of the British Raj.
I have written the story of the book, in the book and have loaned it to many friends. I wanted them to be sure, or to get evidence that synchronicities, magic and intuitive thoughts (and noticing those!) can be part of one’s life. Life can become richer, more interesting and lovelier by every little miracle one encounters. Stay awake!
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