I am from Delhi, the capital of the country. This backdrop allowed me to access books of all kinds and genres, of both Indian and international authors.
The foundation of my love for books was laid by my father, who would often read out stories to me. I was always fascinated by the illustrations. When I grew old enough, I started trying to read on my own and soon developed a sort of obsession with books.
I was a nerd at school, and let me tell you, all the social stereotypes about nerds not having friends are true – they were, at least in my case. My only company at school were books. Although I read practically all types of books, detective novels grew to be my favorite. Despite my ever-increasing fondness for Nancy Drew books, my sleuthing skills were non-existent at best.
My early teenage years were full of reading of romantic novels and fantasizing about what life in college would be like. However, my illusions came crashing down once college finally started. I took up bachelor’s in English literature and that brought about a world of change in my reading habits. Soon, the only books I was reading were my course books and leisurely reading became a thing of the past.
English honors taught me how books weren’t supposed to be just read, but rather delved into. While this further reduced the number of books I read, I started reading them more enthusiastically. From an escape, reading soon turned into a full-time passion.
My reading habits were what got me into writing. I fully and wholeheartedly owe my accomplishments as a writer to each and every book I have read over the years. They helped me develop and hone the ability to recognize and analyze the critical aspects of any piece of literature, be it a full-fledged novel or a short poem. I haven’t just grown as a reader and a writer, but also as a person who is more aware of her social milieu and overlapping identities.
Books have familiarized me with my own ideas as a spiritual, political and social being and have enabled me to develop the ability to find my footing in an unfeeling world. Today I am more aware of my own virtues and shortcomings, and very proudly flaunt the fact that I can trace the entire trajectory of how modern literature has come to being.
The reading habits imbibed in me since my childhood days have also helped me perfect my language skills and have enabled me to flourish as a multilingual person.
Reading has been the biggest blessing in my life and, looking at the way things have panned out, I will possibly owe my career to it as well.
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