My younger sister Aarti asked me this the other day after I reached home from work – “What is goodreads? What is it for? Do you make friends there?”

Well, now I am sure for a person like my sister it must have taken a great deal to contain that many questions inside until the next encounter with me. For the first time, I was not annoyed with her pool of questions for me. Knowing my sister, she would always ask juvenile things like ‘Which is the most popular cell phone these days?’ Or ‘Does this t-shirt look good enough?’ ‘What kind of hairstyle is going to suit me best’ and an endless stream of similar questions always follows. I suppose you got the idea.

So yes, her questions are almost always pest-like to my brain-cells and whenever she is in one of her irritating moods, I try and wriggle my way out. But this is not always possible as she gets me in the end. So I end up responding with one-liners like ‘I don’t know’ (which is my most favorite one) or ‘maybe you should ask your friend’. So this time it was a real moment of joy as she was talking about something that made sense in the real world (at least for me) – about books and reading!

Sometime around the same time last year my sister had finished her schooling and was getting organized to step in the world beyond school-life. She was applying for colleges and elated and anxious at the same time. Somehow the feeling was mutual. While she was anxious about whether or not she would receive admittance in her desired college, I was anxious about the kind the students she would keep company with. I found myself disappearing under the burden of a thousand ‘what ifs’.

What if she lands up in a not-so-good-college? What if she chooses to be friends with kids who are nothing but bad company? What if she gets caught up in reckless activities and gets distracted from academics? And many more….

So when she bombarded me with innumerable questions on Goodreads, I found myself at peace and at ease with all the conflicts in my head as I knew that she had stumbled across the right path. Honestly, it was a moment of ethereal joy.

Lately, she has started reading books and I cannot explain in words how extremely meritorious I felt with the nagging thoughts, the first day when she picked up a book to read rather than watching the television or playing games on the computer.

It was a book from one of the Acclaimed Indian Authors Durjoy Dutta by the Title ‘Of Course I Love You…! Till I Find Someone Better….‘ and she’d thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Since that day she keeps inquiring about good books to read. This sudden turn from a swinish route to an astute one left me astonished but cheerful.  I now know for sure that she is in good company and not stranded with spoiled misleading kids of her age. A company she is going to grow to love.

Now that I briefed her on the assets and gains of joining Goodreads, she seemed thoroughly interested. It was enormously blissful to accept her member request as she is now a religious member on the website I have grown to love and live with.

It was a moment of exquisite joy for me as now I am least worried about my sister’s whereabouts. I noticed she comes home early and spends time reading and I am happy see her to-be-read pile increasing. Though I’ve had infinite moments of joy in my life this far but this one moment of joy is one which will always remain evergreen in my garden of memories.

-Asha Seth