My greed for words can be traced back to the age of 6. I need to thank my Parents for this. My mom prompted me to try read the word “doordarshan” in hindi and write down all the bold lettered words in the Hindu newspaper – in a vain attempt to prepare me for the ICSE syllabus. My dad was a little more innovative! He made me read the story of the “pancake” which flew from the pan and ran around places (thats all iremember of it). He recorded it in the old “cassette tape recorder” and played it back! Boy!! Did I read with all emotions!
Then I remember him helping me learn the poem “Bits of paper” It had ended with “pick them up”. Being the stubborn poet I refused to leave it incomplete. I wanted to complete it with “throw them in the dust bin!!”. Thanks to the strict school laws I remember him trying to convince me and writing there in pencil..finally giving way to my wails he wrote them down in the “text book” with “pen” (something which was not in the least appreciated then!). Those letters of mine written down as the last line of that poem printed in the text book gave the 6 year old (me) the pleasure of getting your first novel published! I imagined myself what I dont know but ever since wanted to read and finish all the stories that I came to know of.
In 3rd std I was introduced to my Uncle’s home library (not a single soul there read books ;P ) It had umpteen no of fairy tails bound in large & beautiful blue cover. Was it a lip-smacking treat? Sure! not to tell of the praises i got when i carried around such huuge books at the age of 8!! (though they were only fairy tales!)
In 5th std my dad enrolled me in a library from where i devoured all volumes of famous five..(as if someone was going to thrash me if i missed out on one!)Hardy boys was a little tough then and from there I guess I grew up to arthur conan doyle and once I touched Danielle Steel I was busy trying and finishing everythng with that name!
School slowly introduced me to writers of a different genre like Somerset Maugham, O henry whose short stories I relished a lot! With the dawn of teenage (when i was in pre-degree) I had this curious peep into “mills & boons”. I used to take them from the college library, write the entry in blurred handwriting so that the librarian sister doesnt notice!, cover them up with newspaper and read it hideously during study time at hostel ..keeping it hidden in another big text book..lest the sisters who come for the routine checking notice! LOL so much effort for those flicks. Now i dont thing ‘d flip one page of M&B even if given a chance ;P
Thanks to the large library and friendly librarian I was introduced to classic works and authors like Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen..and even the english translation of Thirukkural there!
My jump to a professional college restricted my readings to a great extent..still thanks to my handsome/intelligent English professor..I had gulped down every single word that fell from him and ran around and collected any books that he had mentioned. This period showed a passion for true literature which i had missed (had i joined BA english!). I turned into poetry, all articles in newspaper – (their style as mentioned by ma professor) I was introduced to authors like Jefferey Archer, Rudyard Kipling, Samuel Coleridge and other poets.
Post graduation witnessed a complete break from reading! I was too much into romance (where i met ma hubby) and too focussed to better my scores to cover up my romance ;P that books were far. But i had this beautiful sis/friend I got with whom I hardly got the courage or time to speak to that we maintained diaries to talk to each other..her musings/writing were large enuf coz her imaginations were great and words so lyrical! she inroduced me to authors like Daniel Goleman and I strayed a little in the lines of Linda Goodman..joseph murphy etc! A slight taste of sunsigns, emotional intelligence and self improvement books!
Then i think the real journey began..I had put aside fiction and stepped into non-fiction and literature. My brief teaching experience gave me the widest exposure to the world of books! I lost count and Mumbai had introduced me to the most happening ones – margaret mitchell, roald dahl, khaled husseini, chetan bhagat, and more of the like.
So there you have seen a silly blabbering of “library” development of a verbivore!!