Thursday, 28 April 2016

Why Bookstores and Restaurants are Basically the Same

Bookstores and restaurants evoke the same emotions in me. Well, more like feeeeelingsss. It's a bewildering concoction of excitement, dread, anticipation, guilt, joy, and sorrow. 
Imagine walking into one of the best restaurants in town. It offers an all you can eat buffet and you have skipped breakfast and lunch in anticipation of the upcoming forgy (food orgy). You walk in and are immediately seduced by the heavenly smell of sweet and spice and everything nice. You see tables bending under the weight of all your favourite cuisines. There's Indian, Italian, Chinese, Mexican, Mediterranean. And now you are confused. There are so many choices that you choke on the drool accumulated in your mouth and your brain fuses, unable to process anything. Once you regain your consciousness you begin sweating. 'What. Do. I. Eat'. While the buffet is 'all you can eat', your stomach is definitely not 'all you can dump'. You wince at the memory of the last time you tried to make it happen and had liquid oozing out of all the orifices (some even unknown) of your body for the next few days. 
You strategise. 
Round 1: A spoonful of butter chicken (no chicken. Fried chicken is always better than curry chicken), one butter naan, two pieces of chicken 65. 
Round 2: Quarter plate Chowmein, two chicken dumplings, two spring rolls. 
Round 3: A portion of lasagna, some spaghetti with meatballs.
Round 4: Enchiladas, one taco, a handful of nachos.
By now you can't physically move. But an all you can eat buffet is a test of your endurance. So you unbuckle your pants, call for a wheelchair and ask the waiter to wheel you to the dessert section. 
Round 5: A slice of black forest cake. Half a bowl of trifle pudding. 2 gulab jamuns with ice cream.
When you force the last spoon of ice-cream into your mouth, you realize that there are 3 more tables you did not even have a look at. So you slide down from your wheelchair, try to curl into the fetal position (but can't because of your food baby), and cry until they throw you out.
Same with bookstore. You walk in. The smell of new books charms the pants off you. The thick spines of hardcover books call unto you, asking to be caressed. Yet you remain, rooted to the spot, not knowing which aisle to explore- Mystery? Fantasy? Crime-Fiction? Horror? Romance? Your eyes dart from book to book, from blurb to blurb. You are frantic now. Running across the length of the store, touching as many books as you can, opening them all and reading random passages, frantically seeking that one book you can take home tonight. But it's too late. You have been seduced by way too many books. You want to spend the night with all of them, at once. It makes you feel dirty and leaves you breathless at the same time. So you throw all the books you want in a pile and collapse on it crying. Let them have all your tears if you can't have all their words.

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