Growing up I used to be a voracious reader, averaging around 60-70 books a year. I would write my own little versions of whatever I read, in the form of reviews or even a simple summary. This habit was something my mother inculcated in me right from the very beginning. She would make me repeat stories and ask me questions to assess my understanding and learning and encourage me to write down my thoughts about all of the comics or books that I read. I grew up in a home where reading was as natural a habit and a part of my daily routine as brushing my teeth. Papa used to stock up all sorts of picture books and comics at home. There was never a day when I did not have new stuff to read and learn.
Often, I hear a lot of my friends complain that they do not enjoy books that aren’t illustrated or are heavy on text. But isn’t that the whole point of books? Widening your horizons, your scope of imagination, taking you to worlds that you may never actually experience in your lifetime.
As far as my memory goes, I was taken off of the illustrated media quite early on. I was about six or seven years old when I read Ruskin Bond’s ‘Blue Umbrella’. Probably my first real book and one which wasn’t heavy on illustrations. I was mesmerized by the world painted by Mr. Bond. Never had a book made me more happier up till that point in life! The first wave of excitement hit me when I could (obviously I was imagining) feel the aroma of the mountain hills. I had never been near the mountains before but reading about Binya’s life made me feel a part of it. I had imagined up the scenery, individual set-ups, the characters, their costumes and most importantly the very elements of the nature. The entire experience was intoxicating up to a point that I finished off the book in a single day and sat down the next day re-reading and marking favorite portions from the book. Personalizing my books, marking favorite passages has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. Something that, I have observed, is often looked down upon within the reading community. Though that book was only about 90-95 pages long, I kept going on and on about the story to my mother for the subsequent weeks.
Mom and Dad have been a terrific influence over me in terms of my reading choices. In particular, my father, he has literally crafted the entire reading experience of my life by introducing me to the right books and the right authors at every stage. Be it a birthday, finishing college, starting a new job, or any achievement for that matter – we always celebrate with him buying me a book (that he personally writes a message & signs for me).
With the latest developments around the world relating to the covid pandemic, the lockdown has given me time to reflect on what has been missed.
Over the last few years, I gained a lot of appreciation from all quarters and was actively writing on and off for a popular city newspaper. Somehow in between all sorts of worldly pressure and otherwise & under the pretext of not having enough time, I stopped writing at all.
All of this just to say that, I am going to try and give my writing another chance. I have a lot many interesting anecdotes and personal stories to share and what better a platform than this blog! Hope this attempt strikes a chord with you readers!
(P.S – My next post will explain what went behind coming up with this particular name for my blog 😊 )