Once upon a time, there was this unsophisticated, under-confident girl whose life was all about jumping around the place and riding swings. Of course, she busted her knees and elbows multiple times in the process, so much so that she would have a separate tale to explain every scar on her knees and elbows if one were to inquire about them now. Her life was perfect. It was a fairy tale without an iota of worry on her young, feeble shoulders.

And then something happened, something that every carefree child dreads – she grew up. Her delicate shoulders couldn’t balance a badminton racket anymore. Instead, they were tasked with carrying a heavy schoolbag. Playtime, which used to be the most awaited phase of the day for her, gave way to hours spent on meaningless homework. She grew lazy, so lazy that she would now forget all about her friends outdoors and began spending time in front of the TV set.

Her priority list changed with the advent of computers, online games, songs, movies, and whatnot. Her life now revolved around the beeping lights of the Internet router. She still saw the world as a buoyant place, but now preferred Miniclip games to studying. It was as though she kept her brain in a small box, depriving it of any knowledge and reason.

However, a little while later, she stumbled upon something known as a library. It was a dusty ol’ place full of books, quite an unlikely place for her to be in considering her avowed aversion to books. While running her hands down the shelves, she came across a book titled Five Go Off in a Caravan. Although the library issued books for just a week, it still came over as a surprise that she decided to take the book home. It was an even bigger surprise when the Internet went down. What could she do but read the goddamn book that had no illustrations? She sat on her bed quietly. Her mother gasped in disbelief at the sight of her daughter reading a book!

Soon, the girl forged the unlikeliest of friendships with books. Wherever she went, she had a book in her hands. Needless to say, her parents were delighted at their daughter’s new, a much healthier obsession. They didn’t mind shelling out a little money on her new companions. The reduced Internet bill helped, too. However, it was all worth the time and effort, for both her vocabulary and pronunciation improved drastically.

And today, as I pen down this story, I cannot help feeling proud at the magical transformation of that little girl that I once was.


Feel free to reach out to Anisha here to know more about her reading journey.

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