I can remember him saying the words, after lunch, in the drawing room this summer when I went there, with the wooden blinds drawn down to make the room cooler. Him sitting there and telling me which books of his I should take from his library, which further ones I should buy/ read. How he came across them and how, (like me) he read them on the sly... in between his classes of medicine, his patients, his dinner, how he kept awake all night just to reach the last page of his book, how he read books on any long journey (even college to home)...and I smile to myself thinking just how similar I have been to him...unknowingly.
I can remember the smell of the room, the way he dictated the letters to me, the short history he gave of this book and some others, the smell of the ajwain and cloves that he customarily likes to have post lunch mixed with the smell of old books dusted with Borax to save them from Silverfish, the slow whiring of the fan overhead, the slanted sunlight coming in through the blinds and th curtains, my grandmom sitting there listening on, seeing another episode repeat, my mom indulgent and delighted, and my excitement.
So he had introduced me to some of my favourite authors. And so I shall begin my journey with Stendhal.