I always enjoyed reading as a child. For me, it was more than just a hobby; it was something that could liven up my entire day. I quickly discovered how much I enjoyed tracing the black-inked letters in everything – from school textbooks to my mother’s Femina magazines. In fact, I loved reading so much that it became a personality trait for me. I could not stop myself from trying to understand whatever text I could get my hands on, regardless of its language.
I recall a time when I had lots of books, newspapers and magazines, but was still hungry for more. So, I began reading recipes or ingredients from masala sachets and food and beverage packages, which helped me remember the ingredients and expiration dates. This was beneficial to my mother because I was certain I looked like a walking dictionary to her!
Growing up, I had almost lost the touch of this fictional piece that enticed me the most. The essence that I craved lingered on for a long time until I met with puberty and was initiated into Gen Z humor.
At seventeen, I stumbled upon Wattpad, which is understandably notorious for the fan-fictions written by middle-school kids. Having read stories about high-school affairs to supernatural werewolves, I had apparently seen it all. However, what most people do not know is that it is like a sea of treasure and one needs to swim to its profundities to discover its most precious gems. Yes, it was on this platform that I read some of the most memorable novels of my life.
By the time I turned eighteen, I was completely smitten with my favorite fictional characters. James Dean, like a true vampire knight, haunted me in my dreams. In fact, it were those dreams that made me realize that I could recognize a character’s face and body from just a few adjectives. It was almost magical how each line brought a character alive right in front of my eyes.
Books had become my escape from reality; they helped me traverse multiple time zones, dystopian universes and galaxies alike. One night, I would be this star-crossed lover in the year 3060, and the very next night, I would be one of the witches from the 1700s, shunned for speaking up her mind. As these characters grew and evolved, so did I. The books I read shaped me emotionally and spiritually into who I am. It would not be incorrect to say that I got my personality from them.
When I did not have anyone to turn to, novels were my beacon of hope. They were like a mother’s lullaby that helped me sleep at night; a friend’s advice that comforted me when I was down. And everything I am today is down to whatever little I have learned from books.
A NOTE TO OUR READERS
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