Sunday, January 08, 2006

Missing The Tree

Last January , a friend of my wife
from the US dropped in at our home.
Going through my personal
library, he fancied a particular book.
“Take it,” I offered rather generously,
because I’d often claimed I’d rather die
than part with one.
He said he’d take it, only if
he could pay for it.
I dismissed his offer as a crass joke
and said, no, please take it for free,
I don’t sell my books.
“I think nothing should be given
away free,” he insisted, and offered $20 to me.
I thought it was his politically correct way of
meaning anything can be bought.
I was aghast and felt awfully insulted.
I refused the money. He persisted.
So there we were, arguing adamantly
when my wife said to me privately, “Just take it.
and anyways you guys are
turning this into one big male ego trip.”
Castigated, I buck-led, though under protest.
Later, I fumed at my wife for making
me accept the money. “What are you being so pseudo
possessive about,” she asked me disparagingly,
“after all, you have hundreds of them lying
around. One less wouldn’t matter.”
Her claim was, since I rarely read what I buy,
they are uninvited, unwanted,
and unworthy to be attached to.
“Like Imelda Marcos and her shoes
collections,” is her cold constant refrain.
Chastened, I carried around the $20 bill
in my wallet for ten months,
like a festering wound to my national
and personal pride.
Finally I passed a shop that
exchanged currencies and I went in
and got for $1=Rs42.87.
Told my wife about it.
“Oh good," She said, "Hope you didn’t
get some more orphans to populate
our overcrowded pad.”
I nodded sheepishly that I had.
“By the way, what was that
book you had sold your soul out for?” she asked me mockingly.
I thought hard and realized,
I just couldn’t recall the name.
And, she just smiled enigmatically.

18 Comments:

Blogger bilbo said...

siggy,
enjoyed reading this one. Do u really not read any of the books u buy. Hmm , now I am wondering If I can come for a visit. :P

5:25 AM  
Blogger sigmund fraud said...

bilbs,
u r most welcome. but not for buying books !!!

8:26 AM  
Blogger camera shy said...

excellent

well done

well told

smiled at the end

saw myself in there

7:45 AM  
Blogger Ardra said...

hmmm- i'm extremely possessive abt my books ( and my music) - I do lend at times but my soul is restless untill I get it back...
and one of the rare things that makes me envious wrt other's possessions - are books :-)

3:42 AM  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

forgive me dear sir for being very un PC BUT if someone offers me a twenty, be it dollar or pound or yen, i take it.
this site is a little different to the rest.like it.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...

I like this! I'm linking your page to Bloodless--thanks for all the comments and please email me if you want to join. Now I remember seeing you on Eating Poetry's page-another fine poet.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

“By the way, what was that
____________ you had sold your soul out for?” she asked me mockingly.


Ahh. It is always so difficult to recall. :)

5:40 PM  
Blogger Prmod Bafna said...

hehe well told!! sure brings a smile :)

10:49 PM  
Blogger Dan Husain said...

Ah! Wonderful! Not shallow at all! Especially the portion 'politically correct way of
meaning anything can be bought'.
:-)

6:47 PM  
Blogger Chay said...

Ouch!! I just returned home with a few books...and have left behind a suitcase full of books which will hopefully reach me soon...and my babies old and new are patiently sitting on shelves waiting to wake up...big Ouch!! :-))))

btw, missed seeing you...are you still in blr??

9:19 PM  
Blogger sigmund fraud said...

Chez,
thanx for dropping by. Hope you know your babies well enough !!!

Will see you next time you r in town.

siggy

5:51 AM  
Blogger bilbo said...

siggy dude,
posted some new poems. do visit and leave ur footprints.

2:34 AM  
Blogger tanuj said...

yeah people checked your blogs. they are really good ones...infact that freud thing appealed me,as in i myself am more or less into psychology...
do visit my blog at www.rainofsalvation.blogspot.com

2:59 AM  
Blogger Roger Stevens said...

If a friend offerred me money for a book I too would be insulted. Well, not exactly insulted - but I would think it very, very strange.

A weird situation to be sure. I think you were right and should have refused the money, then made your wife's friend eat the book.

3:29 PM  
Blogger bittersweet said...

i agree with roger, it would be too weird.
think this is a good story.
thanks for visiting my blog siggy :)
I'll be back for more.

Cheryl

10:15 PM  
Blogger ~River~ said...

s. fraud,
Enjoyed reading this. The ending was fun!

10:17 AM  
Blogger EATING POETRY said...

Now, I've had my daily fix too.

10:00 AM  
Blogger didi said...

hey I liked this one.

d.

1:40 PM  

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