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A Friend in Need

Whenever I do a NaBloPoMo month, I usually steer clear of the theme. This month's theme is 'Friends', so I'm trying to post some 'friend' stories this month. There's quite a few.

Nisha is a young friend of mine. She's recently graduated from college in some discipline of engineering. Unfortunately, there are very few job opportunities in Lucknow for someone with her qualifications and her family are not in favour of her leaving home. Their community is quite conservative and a girl's reputation before marriage is very important to ensure a respectable match so she sits at home killing time nowadays.

She often stops by to say hello and raid my book collection. I have amassed quite a collection of books over the years. She enjoys reading light fiction and I have some such books with me, though not too many. She has become such a familiar face in our house that on the rare occasion that I'm not around, my family just tend to let her go through and raid my bookshelf. She always returns my books, although she keeps them for quite a while.

Yesterday, she dropped in again. She has no books to lend me but I'm not bothered about that. I let her loose on my books but some recently acquired unread books of mine were also there. I pointed out that "these are new, I haven't read them yet." It was just a polite way of saying "don't ask to borrow these because I don't want to have to say no to you."

Would you believe it? The book she picked out to borrow was a brand new one that I bought for myself especially to enjoy when the kids return to school.

"Sorry, I'm not lending that. Haven't read it yet!" I said. Like I said, I hate saying no, but I'd warned her that "these are new," I don't know why she didn't get the hint.

So she picked something else and went away. I'm going to hide my TBR (to be read) pile from now on!

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