I had a hectic schedule for last three days. Today finally I was free for a change and decided to clean my library. The sun was bright and the sky was clear. It gave me the much needed boost to finish the task quickly so that I manage to steal few minutes to write a post to remove the guilt of not able to do so for last couple of days. I was also looking forward to catch new stuff on the reader. The books were brought outside, neatly kept on the cot to start with the maintenance ritual. One by one I started dusting them, I checked the bindings and covers, cleaned the book jacket covers, straightened the rolled edges. While I was engrossed in the activity, my son brought his book “Batman: The Dark Night Returns” to me and asked,” Will you fix the torn pages with transparent tape for me. Every time I read it they fall and scatter all over.”
” I think it would be nice if you try to fix it yourself. I will make you learn this.” I replied.
” I have to complete my assignment mom. Please do it this time, I will learn some other day.” he requested.
” Ok, only this time you see. Well it is my opinion that one must take care of the book he owns. They are our best friends, aren’t they? Don’t you take care of your friends?” I stared at him.
” If you insist….err….I will join you, let me finish the diagram, does it suit you?”
“Absolutely ! Go and finish it soon.”
I picked up the next book in line. “The book of Indian Birds”, which was gifted to me by my teacher on my birthday.
As I took the book in my hands, Batman flew out from my son’s book cover with a sudden bright flash and with the same enthusiasm hanged upside down on a branch of a tree in a garden. I was taken aback with this unexpected move of the dark creature.
As I was about rush to the room to share the news with my husband, I was called by someone. I looked around to find the Red-wattled lapwing peeping out from ‘The book of Indian birds’. Totally surprised by another visitor in my garden, I saw her spreading her wings to remove herself from the clutches of an old book, enjoying the new found freedom and walking on the grass. She waved at Batman smilingly, he too returned it with same warmth. They began talking to each other.
Awe stricken I quietly sat on a bench to hear their conversation. Here it goes:
” Oh it has been a long journey to discover my true self and finding comfort within it.” Sighed Batman still hanging on the branch. How about you?”
” Well same here. Tired of finding a peaceful place for me to look after my kiddos. The crazy man has left no stone unturned to ruin our homes.” replied bird in anger.
” I too grappled with what I must do in order to make things right within me and the city of Gotham. Goddamn’t I sucked back into old life style I had given up decades earlier.” said Batman.
” Hmmm….struggling with inner demons those who must be pushing you to pick up from where you left.”
” How do you know this? Exactly ! You are a little genius !”
Aww that’s so kind of you…. but there’s nothing like that. I just guessed it. I have gone places, met people, seen them fighting for peace and truth but alas ! it is not so easy to find out.”
” Are you at peace?”
” Yes when I’m in woods…..extremely peaceful world…… It is when mankind disturb the harmony I become restless that’s why I am flying back to my old home, leaving my friends behind, caught and chained in the book.” she smiled and flew away.
Batman kept on looking at her flying high and finally disappearing in the sky.
He understood that only one identity can exist at a time…..This was what he learnt and that was the end of his conflict.