If I ever had to credit someone for who I am today, then that credit will be divided between the innumerable books I have read, my family and God. Books have affected me in ways that have changed the course of my life entirely. And the first book that changed me was a rather popular quirky children’s book – Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll.
Now, from my birth I had never been a bibliophile but I had been as a matter of fact a huge fan of stories. The only problem was that I could not get stories without either nagging someone to tell them or reading a book myself. TV was not much of an option those days, because me and my siblings watched anime and we had allocated hours for viewing plus sometimes power cuts took away those timings too. *insert sobbing Puralika*
It was all fun and games as my elder sister was a book nerd and she used to read all the time. In the afternoon, my grandfather would ask her to translate the story as we would all gather around her and listen (I distinctly remember learning about Harry Potter through her translations).
The problem began when she refused to translate/paraphrase stories (because she wised up and realized that it took away the time she could use for reading). She passed the ultimatum that anyone who wished to know the story would have to get off their posterior and read it themselves. I was hurt by this because I hated reading but she was like a mountain in her decision – unmoving. Hence, for many days, I was left without a story and satisfied myself with the tiny comics in the morning newspaper, little unseen passages in my English exercise books or with my own imagination.It was during this time of lack of thrill that I finally turned to books (we had many and at that time I despised them).
Frankly, Alice in wonderland was not my first book. I read a lot of books before it but nothing was as enrapturing as Alice. Its absurdity struck my childish fancies and the more I read, the crazier it seemed to get. I read it cover to cover too many times to care for other books, but by the time I had loved the book dearly I was intoxicated. For the first time, I realized the power of books. How it is able to draw us in and bring out a myriad of thoughts from another person’s mind. It was freedom in a tangible state, it was door that opened worlds and till this date whenever I see a new book I get curiouser and curioser.