I always loved the smell of fresh paper and ink in new syllabus books. Their crispy pages used to fascinate me always. I remember how excited I used to be to go to ‘Nai Sadak’ to buy course books for a new session every year. Once I had bought them, I had no other passion in the world than to read them, mark them, cover them, decorate them; I just used to adore them like baby dolls.
Even the college life, where taking notes was as a job exclusive for first benchers, and reading books instead of browsing the Google scholar was tagged outdated, couldn’t diminish my charm for paper and ink.
However, as I stepped in the job after college, and then finally in family life after marriage, things changed drastically. The scent of fresh paper and ink disappeared somewhere. It was masked by many new smells. Laundry, floor cleaners, oils, fresh chapatis, biryani, pakodas, perfumes, lipsticks, and many other new scents overpowered my home and my new life.
I had not walked very far, it had been hardly few months in marriage. One day, while doing grocery shopping at the hypermarket, I passed by the stationary aisle. Suddenly, the old scent came back to senses and brought me back to my senses. I stopped there and just couldn’t stop myself. Drawing file, notebook, pens, pencils, crayons, colors, ink, eraser, sharpener, scales, stickers, marker pens, all were there in my shopping trolley the next moment. My perplexed husband unable to figure out ‘why on the earth a newly married woman’ with no ‘higher study plans’ anytime soon is doing an urgent stationary shopping. ‘Mr right’ tried to stop, but couldn’t do much against ‘Mrs. Always right’.
My old books, as many as possible, were brought back from my mother’s home to my new home. I emptied a shelf from clothes for my books and stationery. I set my drawer with small pocketbooks and note-pads. The side-table at the left side of my bad has my cosmetics, and the one at right side has my books, papers, and pens.
Ahaa! It was not intentional, but the right thing came itself to the right side.
All praise belongs to ‘Al-Muqallib-al- quloob’, Allaah SWT who moulds the hearts as He wants. I thank Him for instilling this valuable love of paper & ink in this heart.
Why shouldn’t I celebrate it? Why shouldn’t I sing praises for it? Why shouldn’t I revere it?
When the first word of Qur’an is ‘Read’, and the ultimate miracle of Prophethood is in the form of a ‘book’, I have all the reasons to fall for ‘paper’.
Read! In the Name of your Lord Who created. He has created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not. [Qur’an; 96:1-5]
When the Almighty Allaah Himself takes the oath by ‘pen’ in His Holy Book, and an entire chapter of Qur’an is named after it, I have all the reasons to venerate this love of ‘Ink’.
Nun. By the pen and by what they inscribe. [Qur’an; 68:1]
You know! What is more interesting is that the love for ‘paper & Ink’ this time is more intense than ever. Back in college, if it was teaching me ‘how to make a living’; today, it is teaching me ‘how to live’. Back then, it was to finish the curriculum, today it is to learn the lessons.
I still smell laundry, floor cleaners, oils, fresh chapatis, biryani, pakodas, perfumes, lipsticks, almost on daily basis. However, they don’t overpower me anymore. No other smell of world can die down the scent of Paper and Ink.
The Might of Pen