That Elusive Book

I’ve been searching for a book.

I know what it feels like. The story is intricate, a finely-spun spider’s web. The characters are woven into the story; the narrative forms a cocoon around them, making the characters its own. The plot develops subtly, never giving away more than is required; its veil of mystery stays in place, fluttering every now and then. The emotions portrayed are intense — it has the ability to leave the reader breathless, lost for words. This opus will always stand out, always be different from the others on the shelf.

Yet, this book is completely new to me, every page a previously unread one. The story is simple, the characters mini-stories in themselves—they stand on their own apart from the story. The plot progresses steadily, dropping a few clues here and there, ready for the reader to pick up on and join the dots. The emotions kindled by the story are so natural, that the reader cannot help but add their voice to the mix. This book will always remain the most familiar tome on the nightstand, a comfort food for the soul.

The problem? I know neither the book’s title nor its author’s name.

For all that I’ve been searching, the book has been most elusive. I subconsciously keep hoping to come across it every time I pick up a new one. And the last few books have been interesting enough to keep me up at night. But they have also been supremely disappointing, because, as I work my way through to the other cover, it becomes evident that the book I keep searching for has eluded me once more.

These last few months, my search for the book has reached a frenzy. There hasn’t been a single moment when it hasn’t been on my mind. By now, I’ve been looking for this book for at least a decade, perhaps longer, and have reached my wit’s end. At this point, I would gladly ask someone to point me to it, but how do I ask for directions when I can neither describe the book nor the author? How do you ask someone for something you don’t know yourself?

So I did the only thing I could do.

What does one do if one wants to eat a dish they only remember by the idea of its taste? When they have tried looking for a place which sells this dish, but come away, every time, disappointed and craving it even more? The only thing left to do is to gather the ingredients and cook the dish on their own, working steadily towards the taste they remember. And that was what I was doing — writing, creating, in the hopes of stumbling upon this unnamed novel, going just by the feel of it that I remembered. Till a sudden realisation lead me to wonder:

What if the ‘book’ I was looking for…

…was myself?

3 thoughts on “That Elusive Book

  1. Indeed the book is elusive. Fortunate are the ones that got to read at least a few lines of it. Lucky are the ones that can dedicate a life time to read many pages of it. Even more fortunate are the ones that leave a few sentences of their own in this book.
    Fact is that no one can read that book, including “yourself”.
    The next logical question shouldn’t be, “who can read it then?” It should be “What is the best way fill the rest of the empty pages with amazing stories that dwarf the stories in it so far?”

    Liked by 2 people

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