A quest and how it turned out

A quest or a journey towards a goal or some objective (or object), serves as a plot device and more frequently as a symbol in literature and mythology. In the former, the objects of quests require great exertion and much travel on the part of the hero, and the overcoming of many obstacles before success is achieved.

The hero normally aims to obtain something or someone by the quest, and with this object to return home. The object can be something new, that fulfills a lack in his life, or something that was stolen away from him

Sometimes the hero has no desire to return. Sir Galahad’s quest for the Holy Grail is to find it, not return with it. A return may, indeed, be impossible: Aeneas quests for a homeland, having lost Troy at the beginning of Virgil’s Aeneid he does not return to Troy to re-found it but settles in Italy (and thus become an ancestor of the Romans).

Well there are more facets of quests and eminent scholars like Joseph Campbell have painstakingly investigated them but the point I wish to make is that italicised para above, about the ends of a quest, prove my endeavour Friday was a quest in itself but with a twist….. as it turned out (But let me resist the familiar urge to get ahead of my narrative). Let me start at the beginning and at the very onset, plead the familiar point of gaining perspective and lack of time to explain why this post comes a full two days after the events. Well that is mostly unescapable… given the range of issues I have to deal with. Anyway, let me come back to the issue of my quest.

On a trip to a bookshop I frequent and have found some gems from time to time, I headed Tuesday to pick up a book with a most intriguing (and for me, captivating) title I had seen during the previous visit – just as I was leaving and the shop had closed for their lunch hour. I may add that I had gone there that day to book I had left the last time as there was immense pressure (self-generated) to acquire it. (This cycle is my singularity and there is nothing I can do to curb it)… however, let me not digress. 

As it turned out, I espied another book which seemed promising and as I opened it, I came on a passage which really whetted my appetite (I am sorry I cannot tell you anything about it) and I wanted the book. But having spent nearly a king’s ransom on my purchase and seeing the book in question was an Indian edition, I thought of acquiring it from my other supplier, from whom I would also gain a rebate.

So that was my next destination – and would you believe it, he DID NOT HAVE IT! Anyway, I gave him the details and asked him to arrange as fast as possible and came to work.

As it happened, the next day was Wednesday and my off day. As expected, I made my way to old parts of the city and the Maktaba – without any diversions like last time. For one, there was nothing that I wanted and also the finances did not permit. Anyway, I went to Maktaba, found Khusro sahab there this time and had a good chat, found two books I liked and a novel which seemed interesting but I thought of leaving till next time but couldn’t and had it included in my purchase…. this was after I found another intersting work but could not take it as it was part of an order… but I was assured that copies would be arranged for me). However from there, it was back to the city centre – with a slight amusing (as it seems now) interlude as I went to pick up the weekly I acquire but forgot its full name…sometimes I really despair of myself). Anyway, I reached my supplier with anticipation…only to find he STILL HAD NOT GOT IT (excuse the capitals, bu there are somethings which evoke strong emotions in me). So I went home

To be continued…..

well then my journey Friday qualifies for being termed a quest.

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