My parents were avid readers and big book lovers and no matter which place we went, my dad would make sure that we joined a library and more books would come into my home. I learnt early that you don’t have to fake a smile to read a book and books really opened minds and doors to magical worlds. When I was little I could not imagine how in the world people wrote books. To a little child, the task must have seemed daunting.
“How can they write so much? “ I used to ask my dad.
“Little by little,” he would answer.
His answer never entirely convinced me and I would marvel at the authors, read about them on the back of the cover which sometimes had their picture on it, and try to get into their minds and see how their thought process worked. I used to marvel at their creativity and their way with words. I tried to write a book when I was eight or so. The story was about four children (two boys and two girls who were a set of siblings) who were ship wrecked without their parents, and had to survive on their own on a remote island. No, it was long before Blue lagoon came out and I was very young and had no corrupted thoughts whatsoever—so stop smirking! The book was all of eight pages, five of which were detailed pictures of the four main characters and the ship. I remember agonising over whether one of the girls should have a fringe or not and whether her ribbons should have a little triangular cut at its end or not. Yes—details like these mattered to me even back then. I couldn’t write any more than those eight pages and that was the maximum I could achieve, even though I tried very hard.
Never did I dream that one day I would become an author, that people would write to me, and I would write books! (I am working on my second book—I am midway through it) Somewhere in me, is still that little girl who struggled to write a book of eight pages.
Just before we left India, the children and I went to a multiplex which has a leading book shop too. As soon as I entered the book shop, my book was right in front, in the best seller rack, nestling in between Paulo Coelho’s book and Barrack Obama’s. (I couldn’t resist clicking a picture with my mobile phone) I didn’t see it initially, my daughter did. I had walked to the other end of the book store by then, to browse.
“Mummy, Mummy—Look—your book is right here”, she screamed proudly and many of the customers turned to look as I turned a beet-root red and tried to ‘shush’ her. I smiled all the same, as the staff at the store recognised me and came to talk to me.
Now I have moved to a new place, a new country and a new culture. People ask me what I do and I tell them that I am an author and they are instantly fascinated and want to know more.
“It’s amazing, how do you manage to take time out to write with two children and a home to look after ?” they ask.
Ps: Blog adda had interviewed me. Click here to read the interview.