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Reading is something that came to me naturally. Those of who know me now, think I’ve been like this forever, an avid reader. Those of who know me from my childhood, can vouch that I was never ever inclined towards books for reading per say. So then how come these two impressions of the same person ?
In school, we had this designated ‘library period’ where in we were to read book/s in the library and also get one issued to read at home. God only knows how I felt in that one hour… It was like a torture for me to spend midst the books! On the other hand my friends really enjoyed that period and they drowned in the books of their choice. I always used to wonder what pleasure do they exactly get out of reading something? For me watching stories was a better choice or even better was to play games like kabbaddi, gend tadi, lagori and the likes.
By the way, I come from a family where my (maternal) grand parents are read-o-holics. They are people of Reader’s Digest, Daphne De Maurier, Jane Asuten etc. you can imagine the kind of books that we have at home (their home!).
Having such legendary readers in the family, I still never picked up reading. My parents too read a lot. But it never came to me or should I say they never passed it on to me? 😉
So this ‘I don’t like reading’ continued the early school days. Not that I pledged I’ll never read or this is not my cup of tea. But I never gave it a thought is very appropriate. My parents never pressurized me too. That said, I did read comic editions like Chacha Chourdhary, Pinki, Billu, Channi Chachi etc. But not books, novels!
Then came this day, I was in 10th (I think so or 9th (?)!) something inside me pushed me to pick the novel that was kept at my father’s side table. I don’t know how but I just picked it up and started reading and to everyone’s amazement I kept on reading it without having felt the need of keeping the book down. Surprisingly, I finished the book and was zapped! Zapped at something that had just happened. I had read a book, non stop!
That was some experience! I still remember to have felt so so good to have read a book. It felt like I’ve been brought in the world of normals from the world where people were missing something really really beautiful!
The book that I read was Sydney Sheldon’s. I got hooked to his writing. And not only that I got hooked to the idea of reading, to have books around you, to get immersed in them and roam the world without traveling a bit! It was a fantastic feeling. My reading journey started and that was the moment I had realized why my grand parents have a library at home, whereas earlier I thought libraries are supposed to be at schools!
I start borrowing books from my grand parents and they were more than happy to lend me their prized collection! Just to add here, till date from all their grand children, I’m the only one who is a read-o-holic now, not like them maybe, but kind of them 🙂 And they take so much pride in it, they tell my siblings and cousins to start reading be like Didi (me!)
Since then, I started collecting my own books, with a dream to have my own library at home too. And today, I’ve one however smaller it is, but it is there and growing!
So reading came late to me but it came naturally, without anyone really telling me to pick the book! I was never lectured of the benefits of reading or how books could be my best friends et al. I see lot of parents do this to coax their kids to love books! I think book loving really has to come naturally. One can only introduce books and to inculcate the reading habit, assist and be present with the kids. But beyond that, nothing more! If a child has to love it, it will anyhow.
Reading not only got me books but this reading habit got me to blogging too and today I’ve so many lovely blogs at my fingertips to read. My travels became more interesting with at least one book in the back pack. My waits in long queues or at restaurants became manageable for I had a book in my hand. I stopped feeling alone while I was using public transport to commute in Mumbai. Staying at home and let parents attend a relatives’ relative’s wedding was a boon 🙂
I’m happy I read, I feel proud to be a reader 🙂