Thursday, 1 November 2012

The importance of being earnest...

I was standing, slumped against the wall, waiting for my sister to pick me up – reading yet another of Coelho's works and was rather engrossed when he approached me. I recoiled instinctively as he came closer... a combination of partial-PTSD from last week and the anticipation of a reprimand of some sort, for something or the other. It’s his uniform, very autocratic and authoritarian and intimidating.
“You like reading”... he said.
I stood for a moment, deciphering whether this was a statement or a question.
“Ye-ss”... I said slowly and undecidedly, curling my fist and preparing to punch him in his fucking head if he tried anything.
“I see you here, everyday. You’re always reading”, he continued.
I relaxed, smiled, and said that indeed, it was something I enjoyed very much.
“Maybe you have heard of this book... it’s called...”, he rolled up his eyes looking at the ceiling, trying to recall the name.
“It’s called ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill. I read the first four pages and it did something to my soul. It stayed in my head. It wasn’t my book, so I couldn’t read it. I was wondering if you have it, so I can read it”, he said.
There was something so earnest in his eyes and in his voice as he said this.
“Do you work here everyday?”, I asked.
“Yeah I’m here every day, around the station”, he replied as my sister pulled up beside me.
“Okay, I’ll get it for you”, I said, before getting in.
And so I am. Car Guards in SA are people who look after your parked car while you’re shopping or running an errand of some sort. They usually earn very little money, and life as a security guard at the Gautrain at Johannesburg’s Park Station is both thankless and perilous.
So, I’m looking for this book and I’m willing to pay for it. If anyone has heard of it or has a copy that you’re willing to sell, please let me know. I’d really like to get this book to him as soon as possible.


  1. Sweet :) Im currently back into reading.. started 1Q84 and already gripped. Hope you find the book.

  2. I'm intrigued and now would also like to read it! I will ask around for you :)

  3. Azra,

    I'll have Amazon ship it to you. I know the book. Email me your address again? :-)


  4. Scratch that. I found the address. Its coming your way express.


  5. Nuraan
    Thanks :)

    Thank you for your efforts Miss JellyBobble! :)

    Wow, not even giving me time to protest here. I insist on paying for it - or paying you back at least. Thanks so much, you're an angel! Seriously! :)

  6. That's for you to decide. I want no money from you.

    If you must I will allow you to pay me back for the cost of the book but not for the shipping. That is clearly my choice and not yours.

    When you come to the States, buy me a candy bar and lets be done with that. I dont do debt among friends. That is a heinous concept in the extreme :-)


  7. Just finished the Alchemist. What were you reading?

  8. It's in the public domain, so you can download and print a copy for him here:

  9. Very nice of you - these little acts of kindness are what make life beautiful. Hope he'll enjoy owning his personal copy of this title. But the man needs a library card.

  10. Dean
    I owe you big-time :)

    I've read many of his books so far - some I loved, others I hated... in both instances, there are always some good lessons and I take the underlying message. Just finished "Eleven Minutes" - which according to me so far, is his second best book. Maybe others will disagree :)

    Saaleha IB
    Gosh thanks! I'm now tempted to download a copy for me too :)

    Roving Retorter
    Yeah it's true he'd benefit from joining the library. He's the second person in as many weeks to ask me about books. DOn't know if you know, but SA has a very low literacy rate - but from what I'm picking up, it's not that they don't want to read - its that they don't have access to good libraries. I can bet he (and the other lady) who asked me about books live in an area where the library's aren't up to scratch. I wish we had better resources that way and good systems to regulate them.

  11. I saw that you managed to get the book. I hate that our lifestyles here makes us fear things first! I know it is better to be cautious, but it makes us miss out on so much.

    Let us know how he reacts when he gets the books.

    I so wish I was part of a lift club, or could use public transport, so that I could read in that time. Two hours a day on the road is such a waste.

  12. That's beautiful. Here in London, there is thing where people give out free books (on World book day I think), and once you've finished, you write your name in the front and pass it onto another stranger.

    That was a beautiful example of kindness.


  13. You're a freakin' champ. CHAAAAMP, I tells ya!

    Also, do this guy? ;-)

  14. You can find think and grow rich in almost every book store in the financial section. I see it so often and I want to read it but I knew that if I bought it at those times, I wouldn't have and I'd have lost it.

    Many wealthy people have read it. I know robert kiyosaki recommends it and I think warren buffet and richard branson have read it as well. It's a really old book, written in the early 19's.

    Inshallah it will be my next book.

    That sounds like the smartest car guard ever, give him a thumbs up from me.

  15. You totally are a champ. And so is Dean. I'm all about promoting literacy - anywhere, anyone, anytime!

  16. Thank you, Rooth :-)


  17. Prixie
    Traffic kills the soul, slowly. I will be sure to let you guys know what happens ;)

    Thanks :)

    That's an awesome concept! Here in SA, you'll probably never see that book again - nor will anyone else. Sad but true. *sigh*

    Pretzel Thief
    Your comment made me LOL. Nope, I don't like him AT ALL... I feel for him though. I know what it's like to have so much ambition and hope and just wanting a break.

    Funny enough, I had never heard of it. But then again, I don't really do that genre. Thanks for the info.

    I feel the same - I strongly support literacy and education and if someone expresses an interest, I try to encourage and endorse that.