a writing by Osman Gani

Sunday. It was raining since morning. Sitting beside the window, I was enjoying the rain and reading a novel "Seize the Day" by Saul Bellow. The story was in an interesting moment as I just started reading the last page of the novel.
Suddenly my naughty nephews and nieces entered my room without warning. They demanded a story from me. I was wondering which one to tale from my large collection of stories.

So I asked them,"Do you want to hear stories of monsters, giants, witches and ghosts?"
They all replied, "No!! We have listen such stories so many times."
Then I asked, "Man-eaters?" The answer was negative again.
At last I asked,"Book-Eater?"
All of them echoed, "BOOK-EATER!!!!"
This time the expression was a positive one. Them prompted
me to begin the story soon.

I started the story saying," Then listen. It was nearly 15 years ago. I was student of class four then. The Book-eater was also in the same class. He liked to stay away from everyone and sink into his own world. There was something in his eyes--a desire, a thirst. the strange boy stood first with incredible score. Everyone began to grow jealous of him. Meanwhile, a school-library was opened where all the students had free access. After few days of the opening of the library, strange things started to happen. The books of the library were decreasing day by day. the authority had no clue as no bags were allowed inside the library and nobody left the library with books. The authority doubled the guards but still the effort was worthless. Once a dustman saw the book-eater eating a book. He screamed and when everyone came they say an innocent boy sitting and reading a book. Actually, the dustman was mute and he could not make people understand the real fact. In fact, he was sacked from his job next day. The days passed and the books of the library were decreasing. The authority closed the library in frustration. Meanwhile, the Book-eater left the school after passing class five and got himself admitted in a high school. Fortunately, that high school did not have any library. That is where the story ends."

Everyone seemed to be pleased with my story. But one of my naughtiest nephew asked, "How did you know so much about that Book-eater?"
I replied,"O my clever nephew! Sometime knowing does not require mediums." He was utterly confused but left with others.

I again started reading the unfinished last page of the novel. I finished the novel. Then I felt the inner urge, the thrust, the desire, the swelling monster of actions.
I took the book in my hand and put it in my mouth. Then chewed it and swallowed it. It was really a tasty book and my deep hunger is now satiated. What else could I do? It is my habit since childhood. I am the Book-Eater.


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