Like (almost) every love story, mine too stemmed from hate.

I had this uncanny belief that love and hate could coexist. However, as I would realize later in life, love has the power to easily overpower and vanquish our abhorrence of things and people. A few years ago, when I was probably eight or nine years old, my world revolved around Scooby-Doo. Now, twelve years down the line, books have carved out a place for themselves in my heart, not to mention my room.

As I grew up, my mom would always ask me to emulate my best friend. She would invariably try and prod me into reading books and do the things she did. Far from making me develop a liking for books, it made me hate them even more.

The kid I remember hated books to death, as if they would end up drowning her in an ocean and nobody would come to her rescue. But, as they say, every story has a turning point. Mine was no exception.

One fine day, I was alone at home. With books being the only meaningful company around (I’m not sure if the old me would have concurred with this), I had a funny but interesting thought pop up in my head. Nobody had stayed on ever since I had started making friends – which had been since forever – except for books, despite my evident animosity toward them. I guess that’s when I decided to try and befriend books for a change. Goosebumps was the first book I read. Little did I knew that the friendship I hoped to have would soon blossom into a love I had never thought I would have.

Simran had always been a daddy's girl

Every night, while lying down next to my dad, whose warm hug comforted me as much as mom’s did, I would take a step back and overlook the phone on my bedside table, to immerse myself in those fictional stories that seemed almost real to me. As the nightly silence scared me, I would retreat into my father’s snug arms.

This happened every night, before my dad finally said to me, “give something else a try. Try reading some book that wouldn’t haunt you at night, that would let you stay in your bed, so that you can fight the monster lurking underneath it when I’m not around”.

It was then that I thought of what a thinking cap would be like, unaware of the Sorting Hat at Hogwarts, oblivious to the world where my worst dreams were an everyday reality and blissfully ignorant of a realm where I could also be a wizard.

As years passed on, friends for life became a phrase restricted to four or five people, adolescence brought with it an eerie fondness for the Chicken Soup series, parents became alibi-centered detectives and my heart began to harbor some sweet and secret desires. However, I always carried a book with me, along with the hope that there will be someone who will love me more than anyone else, until someone whispered to me (or so I felt), “love is like the wind. You can’t see it, but you can feel it”. And then, I fell in love with books… all over again.

Interesting, quite interesting! We hope that your dreams do come true, Simran. Thank you for taking the time to share them with our wonderful readers.

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