I clearly remember the day it arrived. Covered in bubble wrap and enclosed in a corrugated sheet, it was home delivered by Flipkart. It was love at first sight. Its soft black leatherette cover and smooth chrome yellow pages had me swooning. They were so perfect that for days I resisted putting a pen to them lest I spoilt them.
The notebook was a perfect gift to commit to paper the wandering thoughts of an amateur writer and give them some direction. It seemed to have worked well for in the year and a half since, the thoughts and the words have come a long way (if I can say so myself). And the notebook too.
The first thing I eventually wrote on it, after my name that is, remains unpublished -- even on my blog. It was perhaps the most honest piece I had ever written, a reflection of how I felt at that point in my life. The second, again unpublished, was a short poem. I started to write in it regularly only a few months later, and only the pieces that were important yet hazy in my mind. They somehow found a structure, flow and meaning once I started to put them on the handsome yellow pages of the notebook. The rest, the not-so-important pieces, meanwhile, would be written straight on the laptop.
In the last 18 months, I have bought, and have been gifted, many more notebooks. Some came from my husband, some from my brother, and some from a friend who loves notebooks equally if not more (I wonder if there is a reason why all my gifts come from men). But all of them remain untouched. I preserved some for my book, and some for my London trip (both still a distant dream). The true reason, however, I suspect, is that I don't want to let go of this one: the firsts are always closest to your heart, aren't they?
But as they say, everything that begins must, and does, end. And so, the notebook, running into its last few pages, is also coming to an end. Today therefore, after going through at least 10 new notebooks -- most of them matronly and boring -- I finally chose the one closest to this: it has a beautiful embossed cover and it came as a gift from my notebook fanatic friend.
Pretending to be excited about the new notebook, I flipped it around, caressed its cover, ran my fingers through its pages; I even wrote my name in it with the most beautiful pen, but I did not feel anything. In a matter of minutes I had put it away.
And since then, I have been busy filling up the last few pages of my yellow and black companion, trying to make sense of millions of things that have been going on in my mind. Who knows scribbling in it one last time might just rid me of my everlasting writer's block.