Here’s what happens when your parents let you join a Book Club at the age 12. 😐
Stranger at the Club: What are you reading?
Child Heena: Gone with the Wind. Have you read this?
Stranger at the Club: What?!
Child Heena: I don’ understand all of it but I think it’s good. The drama is really out of this world. I think I’m addicted to it. In fact, I’m going to watch the movie.
Stranger at the Club: Stop it immediately or else you’ll lose your childish innocence soon!
Child Heena: 😦 When I grow up, nobody’s going to tell me what I can read and what I cannot.
Teacher: What are you reading?
Child Heena: The Giant Book of Murder. It’s superb.
Child Heena: See, it has sections for axe murderers, serial killers and prisoners. I am totally loving it for the information that I will introduce into my English school essays to blow out my competition!!
Teacher: Stop it now! Or you will grow up into a psychopath.
Child Heena: *groans* When I grow up, nobody will tell me what I can read.
Preeti: What are you reading?
Teen Heena: The Wheel of Time. It is super splendid!
Teen Heena: Yeah, I’m really “into” fantasy fiction! It’s like science fiction but better! There are parallel universes and alternate realities and magic and strange creatures and ..
Teen Heena: Why?
Preeti: It sounds stupid and I’ve never read any. Here, read “Mills and Boon” like everybody else.
Teen Heena: 😦 When I grow up, nobody’s going to tell me what I can read and what I cannot.
Lynnet: What are you reading?
Present Day Heena: Young Adult fiction. It’s awesome.
Present Day Heena: I was too busy reading regular adult stuff when I was a kid but now I find that there’s a lot of Young Adult fiction that is really good. So now I’m catching up with it.
Lynnet: Thats awful, have some shame. You’re reading stuff meant for children.
Present Day Heena: 😦 When I grow up…
Am I suppose to feel inferior about it? Or should I cover The Hunger Games with a newspaper the way some women who read sexy romances on the train do? What about graphic novels? Are those ubercool? Or is everybody nosing at me for choosing to read a comic like a little baby?
If only I read much less and monitored the reactions of random strangers to my choice of reading more, I bet I’d have the answers to all those questions.
I am very sure that this question has been unanswered or over-answered a lot many times to my pals whenever they tried to dig out the truth 😉 .. even after bribing me into eating ice creams or dinner/lunch promises at my favourite restro’s and also almost getting me MnBs i haven’t divulged the details. So i think now its time to do so.. to talk abt HIM… in the sense the one who’s always accompanied me to school, college, malls, ricks, buses, trains, long journeys, to Mt.Everest and Mt.Katao, and to every possible place i have been to is very difficult. He’s been the motivation when i was down, he was the humour when i wanted to laugh out loud, he was my strength when i wanted to quit, he was my knight in shining armour when i wanted to be loved, he was everything i ever needed jus packed all the beauties of life in my hand…it was the BOOKS that i read.
Trust me on this, I could have never been able to stand on feet ever had i not had my bestest and longest pals(read- BOOKS) of years with me. They stood with me through thick and thin. Come rain or sun, i always had him for my company. He never for once said what i never wanted to hear. Even at the most odd hours when i wanted to hear him he would simply let me read him.
The association started when PD would dog-ear few books and give it to me to read so that i become more creative in writing. Obviously i am still nowhere near her but then i believe i have started putting in my ideas clearly. I would read at Strand bookstall or pick up books from the ever so famous churchgate bylanes to satiate my hunger. Finally i came across the Amar-ki-dukaan(as famously called by Meds) which had superb collection of all sorts of books. I would take almost 4-5 of them with me and finish off in jus a day or two. My train pals would wonder how I would finish it but then I was in LoVe.. 🙂 and Thank God for that.
How can i forget Sam who met me coz of Books.. while i was searching for an ultimate chicklit we both picked up the same book and hence started the well kept secret of my life.. The Book Club of Ladies.. I was happy back then.. like minded ladies getting together for book reading sessions.. its was fantabulous.. I then realised that i had a feminist streak in me when we would end up discussing a lot of hot topic prevalent then.. i met smita the lady with a golden arm.. she only knew how to give others/society.. i worked with her for few NGO projects and then helped her create a course material for the under privileged.. it was one of the best days of my life to do something without anyone ever knowing what i was upto.. prolly even i dinno what i was doing then, but today when i look back i feel nice that i could meet people so intellectual i could only dream of coz of HIM.. so back to him.. its jus a small boring blog to thank HIM.. for the life i had, i have and i will have, for almost everything.. and i hope no one replaces HIM.. 🙂
“A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without the fear that it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.”
Edward P. Morgan