I am in love with words. I always loved how they weave stories, and unfold a different tale every time. As a kid, I always found it intriguing how the same words could be used to portray different meaning. I always wonder where words came from. And that’s where it all started.
When it came to reading, I was a late bloomer. But If you met me in my 20s, most likely you would also meet my companion- books. I don’t remember the first book that I read.
Being an English Literature scholar, it helped me to open the right books to read. I was high on the books. I used to huddle under the duvet with flashlight and a book. I used to be afraid of being discovered and having my flashlight taken away. I guess my parents knew that I was defying some rules of the house, but they let it slide anyway. And they mostly feigned ignorance of my delightful sin. I used to be fixated with the characters, and would even mourn if any character died. I would make sure to finish the book at night, and whenever I finished a book in the noon- I would feel a sense of loss, as if a good friend relocated somewhere far- whether tragic or not, finishing a book was always a tragedy for me.
I visited the college library daily. I loved the woody, musty smell of old books. The dust scintillating around like tiny fairies’ pixie-dusts. The aroma would invite me to pick the books, I would sit there in that old library with the dusty books, turning those time-beaten yellowed pages and finding a new friend each time. I had a favorite spot, an auburn desk, well-lit and secluded. When I was done making notes, I would linger on some more. Searching the shelves for my next adventure, my next treasure. Gradually I was addicted. I learned a lot from book- about relationships, friendship, love, freedom, justice, creation, desperation. It opened up a whole new world for me.
The first book that left impressions on me and inspired me to write was ‘Tess of D’urbervilles’- it remains my favorite book. Thomas Hardy became my hero. I read all his books. I remember beaming for weeks and recommending everyone I met to read the book. Thomas Hardy introduced me to his world of words. His ‘eye for details’ helped me to look at the world with a new perception. And then I read Matthew Arnold. I would spend hours to understand all the possible meaning of a small poem. P.B. Shelley brought me to his beautiful melancholic world. Shakespeare’s deep soliloquy would take me to his era. Jane Austen always mesmerized me with her intelligence and sensibilities. I read all the works of Bronte sisters too.
Important to mention- ‘A pair of blue eyes’,
not so popular work of Thomas Hardy. It absolutely resonated with me and there was no turning back. It inspired me to write my debut poem Her Eyes
, for myself, about myself. That was a serendipitous moment for me. After that I wrote some more about my passion, hopes, dreams, the colors I love, the rain, the wind, and everything in between. That’s how my journey from a reader to a writer started.Writing gives you power to weave a story, you can create anything till the infinity and beyond.
Writing is something which motivates me, and seems like it’s ‘my calling’. The authors that I had read, were my mentors. Mostly I have been inspired with the romantics,
which is evident in my writing. I became a writer, something I always wanted to be. But I was scared to present myself to the world. I felt vulnerable and I hid ‘the writer’ somewhere deep inside me. There were only a handful of people, I shared with. I fear people will not understand me . But as I grew older, I realized it doesn’t matter who reads me, as long as I keep writing something that would interest me not only to write but to read as well. And this is what keeps me going. It satisfies my soul.
Now I’m a mother, among other things. I started reading books to my son. Strolling on an esplanade, reading to my son is one of my favorite activity with my son. I love to express myself through writing about parenting, lullaby, my experiences as a mother. Now I don’t have the luxury to go to library for my olfactory indulgences. Sometimes, I have to make do with the impersonal kindle, it takes away the romance away from the books, yet it allows me to be closer to my first love- reading.
This piece was originally published @momexpresso here , for a contest #MoreToMe
Pic Courtesy: pixabay