I clearly remember that in the early 1980s when I was hardly three-years-old, I first started to pick up the alphabets, and soon I was writing my first name. My “d” was more tilted and could be read as a “t”. The clippings of those first pieces of writing still lie somewhere in my home today.
My mother used to read me English fairy tales and on our visits to my nani and nana’s abode over the weekends, my nana used to narrate the horse’s tale in pitch perfect Urdu, which I can still recollect. I used to ask him to repeat the story at least three times before I went off to my bedroom to get some sleep. Those were the days!
Soon I realised that I had some fascination towards reading and writing in English, and I am glad I have this fascination till date. If you tell me now to watch a film, I’d rather skip that and read a book on it instead, so strong has been my association with reading prose and poetry alike — be it in Urdu or English.
No day passes by till I have read or written something. As a kid, too, I remember I used to be really poor at two subjects, Math and Science, (still am) and used to pray (on a routine basis) to God back then, “When I grow up, please let me do something which requires the talent of the written word, no Math or Science, please, for heaven’s sake I know I would never be able to cope with a livelihood based on those grounds.” This used to be my daily prayer when my Math sums would go wrong and scientific theories would make no sense at all to me.
But with passion, the bookworm in me read fiction and non-fiction alike, touching on English classics and literature. These instilled in me a love for reading different politico-historical accounts with ease. With the passage of time, this love has grown over the years and how I thank my stars for allowing me to be literate enough to understand what actually lies in the treasure trove of libraries! So many libraries I have visited, over the course of my life, to remain true to my first love: the written word.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2015.
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