I don't remember the last time I actually finish reading a book. I can't read physical book, you see. But anyway, during my trip to India, I actually finished reading one.
I contemplated a lot whether to bring Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 or Kafka on The Shore I bought few months ago. Bringing books to a road trip seems so pretentious. But better be safe than sorry. Considering the later being the lighter one, I brought Kafka on The Shore with me.
At first I was like, there's no way I'm gonna finish reading this book before this trip end. I had my watercolor set with me, full arsenal of my best pens, my trustworthy journal and of course my ever entertaining smartphone. There's no way I'm gonna have enough time to even touch the book.
I tried reading it as soon as we boarded MH0109. 2 pages and I was knocked out cold. I switched to sketching and poof, I was revived to life. Yeah, I'm never gonna finish reading this, I thought. Smartphone was useless as soon as we landed in India. I can't connect to the internet unless my sister turned on her hotspot and that thing drained up your battery like crazy. So I enjoyed few minutes of web surfing before my sister started complaining about her dying phone.
We had so many free time when car riding across the country. Bangalore to Dharwad took us 9 hours on sleeper bus. But it was a midnight bus, so sleep was the best activity. The trip from Dharwad to Goa took 4 hours. The road was bumpy. I couldn't write anything on my journal without risking stabbing our driver next to me. Let alone to read book. Huh! Flight from Goa to Delhi took 4 hours. After late dinner, I soon retreated to dreamland. There's something about sleeping on an aircraft. You just had to.
Our driver in Delhi, Rajiv Bhai was a careful driver. I could draw while in the car but I won't trust inking on a moving vehicle. By now my favorite pen busted due to aircraft pressure. All journal writing-drawing slowed down significantly. I shouldn't have use it in flight. As I said, my smartphone was practically useless the whole time. I finally picked up the book from the bottom of my bag pack. And that was when things picked up a pace.
The 4 hours drive from Delhi to Agra was filled with me reading few chapters of the very confusing book. The language was simple enough to understand but the theme remained chaotic for at least halfway through. I wanted to stop reading but there was nothing better to do so I glued my eyes on Kafka Tamura-Nakata story arc. When we set out for Jaipur, I was already at Johnny Walker's introduction chapter. Things got interesting. It was a slow burn but it was a definite burn. Another 4 hour passed and I almost wanted to skip dinner just to finish the book.
I finished reading the whole book on the last day in Jaipur. I actually regretted finishing the book so early since we still have 6 hours drive back to Delhi to catch our flight home. So when we arrived at Indira Ghandi International airport, I raced to the bookstore, looking for anything by Haruki Murakami. The only thing on the shelves by the author was two copies of The Elephant Vanishes, a compilation of short stories.
I tried reading it but the excitement to board the plane rendered my focus astray. I don't know when I'm gonna pick up that book again. Probably never. Probably tomorrow. I don't know. But one thing I know, bringing books to a road trip is never just for a show. It's actually a very good idea.
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