Not even in my wildest dreams could I have imagined writing a story like this. My memories of reading go back to my childhood days when my grandfather used to make me read the the Jaimini Mahabharata. He would slowly and patiently elaborate upon the verses so that we could grasp the contents, which were written in old Kannada. At that point, I wasn’t really aware of how helpful that experience would prove to be for the later stages of my life. In general, literature was not my cup of tea and I did not delve much into it except for a few children’s books and school textbooks.

Years down the line, one night I had the craziest of nightmares. Looking back at it, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call it a dream, for it had come as a blessing in disguise for me. As I stood in a palace, its walls started crashing down on me. I was holding a book close to my bosom and all I could hear was the most unpleasant racket I had ever heard. Everything was crumbling around me. However, in an attempt to compose myself, I did something inexplicable – I opened the book and started reading it with great attention to every minute detail, so much so that it became one with my heart. I realized that life was not a simple and straightforward journey. It was a lot more than that.

Karnataka-based poet Kusuma Patel feels that her little daughter helped her realize her potential

As years passed by and I had the privilege of becoming a mother, my daughter, who wrote poems that seemed far more mature for someone her age, asked me why I did not write. Her childish curiosity proved to be a turning point in my life. For someone who would often lose her way into the profundities of her ruminations, it was time to put those thoughts on paper.

It took me just three months to compose my first hundred poems. It came as much as a surprise to me as it might to you. Interestingly, I could relate to Kanti, who was the daughter of the raj vaidya (royal physician) of King Bhojaraja. Unaware of the concoction prepared by her father, she gulped it down. Soon after, her body started burning. Panicky, she jumped into a well. Suddenly, she started reciting poems and later became a great poetess in the King’s court. I felt an uncanny similarity with Kanti at that moment.

Today, my first book is on sale on Amazon. I have also got some of my poems lined up for my soon-to-be-published second book. Writing has become my passion. And, just like their mother, both my children love books and have a fairly decent collection of their favorite reads.

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