Bring Your Own Book / Beloved.

Two years ago yesterday marked two years of being a part of this wonderful book club, Bring Your Own Book (BYOB). What started out as a meet of eight — nine people, has turned into a large group of people who love to discuss books, amongst a million other things.

The number of books I have shared with these amazing people may not have come across my way if it weren’t for BYOB. My obsession with Salinger, and My Salinger Year, wouldn’t have found a place if it weren’t for people who understood, as well as failed to understand, Salinger. I had my ‘Franny’ moment soon after I joined the book club and was lucky enough for people who willingly (one can only hope) listened to it. I got over my apprehensions of lending my books to strangers. The conversations revolving around books, and beyond, have been solace during the toughest weeks and months. I have found myself staring at the calendar on my work desk and counting days until the next BYOB meet and then repeating the cycle immediately after BYOB. It has been my happy place for the past two years and shall continue to be so for a really long time.

More than anything, I have found some of the best people in my life. From awkward and really random conversations to discussing and analyzing each other’s lives in great detail (Hi, Vedant!), w(h)ining and to finding that one girl among twelve others, we have come a long way. I cannot imagine my life without these fun, warm and delightful people around me, whom I want to hug while writing this, and they are one of the major reasons for gratefulness and happiness in the past two years. They have helped me deal with my grandfather’s loss, shared my happiness, cribbed about mutual male acquaintances and overall managed to make my life a zillion times better.

In no order whatsoever, a thank you to some of the people from BYOB: Jayanti, for K3G and understanding Franny; Devang, for being the stranger who got me The Little Prince from Paris to being our child / LPP; Kanchi, for the hugs, laughs, comfy reads and sadness; Farheen, for Lolita, feminism and your smile; Punyashree, for comfortable silence and equally comfortable excited conversations about our favourite books and eye-rolling; Debpriya, for being the only Bengali woman in my life and all the violence; Pooja, for all the love right from Leaping Windows to Hyderabad and Nidhi, for the dog pictures and virtual friendship.

To everybody at BYOB (even those from Delhi), thank you for the book recommendations, conversations, laughs and happiness.