I started reading books at a very young age. I am not talking about the academic books but the books that were being read willingly. Books and my childhood has some fond memories, that make me nostalgic with this book blog train theme.
I have a special relation with regional language books. Though I use the English language for day-to-day life, I find my comfort zone in my mother tongue Marathi.
I remember my father getting me good story books and puzzle books whenever he could afford to buy them. And when he had no money, he would bring them on credit but he actually helped me instill this reading habit at that young age.
He could afford a birthday gift for me for the first time when I was in 2nd standard and that first gift was a set 21 storybooks. That costed exactly 42/- Rupees to him in the year 1992. And my journey as a reader started from there.
Those 21 books were fairy tales. And one book I had read was “Jadugar aani Shaapit Raajkumari” (The Magician and The Cursed Princess).
A fairy tale that somehow made me upset, what was that princess’ fault that she had to get cursed for being different, just because she dares to be fearless. So even fairy tales demean the girls always.
When being upset I kept asking several questions of injustice to all my family members (as I was the youngest one in the family of 30+ people), all of them started scolding me and then my eldest cousin diverted me to something that will not make me upset. Something that wouldn’t be thought-provoking. Something that will keep my mind calm and I won’t trouble others with my over-matured questions.
Kids Genre Books – An oasis in the desert
This was the time I got introduced to comics like Chacha Chowdhary, Champak and Lotpot. Getting these books to read regularly was not pocket-friendly, but borrowing them from friends for a day and finishing off the reading was the real bliss. My cousins would get these books from raddiwalas sometimes, just because they all knew how much I love reading them.
These are some books that I would gift my child too. I started getting the monthly copies of Champak and Lotpot but could not get the best one, Chacha Chowdhary. I read Champak and Lotpot to my daughter and she loves them truly.
Kids books and magazines are kind of an oasis in the harsh desert. I love to be a child again and enjoy those colorful, brilliant, and bright books.
After a few years, I joined a nearby library. Again I was not paying money but the librarian was our relative. So she had allowed me to sit there and read, and I was not supposed to carry any book or newspaper home. So spending two hours every evening in the library was my new hobby. It came as a great dose of reading as I explored many kinds of books over there and those were not fairy tales or comics.
I loved reading some serious books like Jaanta Raja by Babasaheb Purandare (biography of Shivaji Maharaj), Sambhaji by Shivaji Sawant (biography of Sambhaji Raje). I don’t really know how did I develop an attraction towards these two huge books, but these books reminded me of my roots.
Years passed and I started getting busier with studies followed by career. I read few novels (a better word would be Kadambari) while growing up but somehow my love for comics never died. I purposely started ignoring serious kind of books and remained in that imaginary world of jungle animals. Yes, Champak was my all time favourite.
At this age too I love reading Champak kids magazine rather than any upsetting book or fairy tales. I know I love reading but not what everyone else loves to read. I am more towards reading newspapers, magazines, and blogs than any bestselling novels. Sometimes when I see a roadside book vendor, I get excited to read those books. But then while checking the books, I remain unsure of what to read.
Though I hate fiction and serious books, one Marathi book by renowned actress Priya Tendulkar “Jyacha Tyacha Prashn” (literally means It’s their problem, none of your business) remained in my heart and thoughts forever. The way she had written those short stories were not judgemental towards those female characters. They lived their lives, they committed mistakes but it was their life and their problems.
If someone asks me what kind of books I love to read, I simply don’t have an answer to this question. I know I love to read but I don’t really know what do I love to read. Yes, Champak would be my favourite forever but beyond that, I haven’t fallen in love with any specific genre. I hate serious books but still, I loved some serious books. I am not so fond of English Literature but I can never forget the book “Things Fall Apart – By Chinua Achebe” and never even can forget the lead character Okonkwo. It was in my syllabus of English Literature and I was forced to read it, and I am thankful to the people who added this book in syllabus.
I can’t say I am fond of love stories, but I loved “I too had a love story – By Ravinder Singh”.
Some people ask me if I have read this and that, and I’m just clueless about those books. I love to read, but I’m not sure of myself that what would I love to read. It can be a simplest book that may impress me, and the bestsellers can just go unnoticed by me.
Call me a wild reader who doesn’t fit into one set of a genre, but loves reading for sure.