If there is one thing….

that I had no access growing up, I would quickly say – Books! Not the academic books, but the books one reads for fun or the passion. While I appreciate and be grateful for what my parents have done for both me and my sister, there is one thing I cant deny at all. No attempts to make dad get us story books would be successful.

Amma was an avid reader of Telugu literature, story books, novels (even the translated Agatha Christy novels) right from her childhood. Post wedding, she simply didn’t have time for sitting idly at one place to keep reading her books. There would be Telugu weekly-s for her ten minute read just before sleeping off. While dad also had read books early in his life (mostly Telugu books), he didn’t bother to buy books for us other than the academic ones. May be it was his financial situation, I come to think of it only now.

Everytime I or sister made attempts to bring him to a book sale or book shop (in Central Railway Station), he would talk us out of them. His point would be – when you have no free time at all or have many academic books, why bother reading some more books. This seemed quite a logic to us growing up. But when our friends talked of how their parents had taken them to book sales and got them new story books, we would have no story to tell at all.

The school library didn’t offer much too. For the one library period that we had, the teacher would make it “playing-time”, not bothering to keep all 55 students quiet in the library. There have been times, I have ventured into the deserted library only to find torn and very old books. During my entire schooling period, I have never borrowed a book from the library. How sad?!

Not an hour during the summer holidays we would be idle. There was always something for us to do. Playing cricket in hot sun. Coming home to only have food. Taking out our bicycles by the evening to go around the quarters and coming back to practice Kolams on the freshly washed stair case. Evenings were spent watching tv or playing games like name/place/thing/animal. The day would be ended with a walk to the park and having 2rs kulfi ice. Inspite of all this fun, I have secretly yearned for a book. The one I could read leisurely, learning new words, smiling to myself, imagining every sentence as I read. But I never had one. The ones that were around the house were in Telugu (which made me learn the language too). I would take the English literature and Maincourse books for the next term and enjoy reading them, when my desire could no longer be contained. That was fun too.

Even until college, dad didn’t approve of us getting books other than academics. I have not been able to change his mind at all, not even now. Guess what did I do with my first month’s salary – While I got all my closed one new clothes, I got myself a set of books. The ones I had been wishing to read all through my life. It’s the best spent money according to me. The joy of getting my books from my hard earned money – priceless!! There is one thing I must accept though – dad hasn’t interfered at all with all the books I have purchased so far. He goes through them, sometimes.

May be its because of all this, I continue to buy books like “Malgudi Days”, “Adventures of Suppandi” or even read authors like “Enid Blyton”, “Roald Dahl” and many more. I am living all those days I missed during my childhood now, inspite of the fact that I get mocked for reading children books at this age. 🙄 Who cares what others think? I would want to be up-to-date when my kid reads all these!

19 thoughts on “If there is one thing….

  1. I can relate to this post very well.
    Yeah what’s wrong in reading children’s books I ask?
    I would want to be up-to-date when my kid reads all these! – that is so cute GB 😀

  2. I love the last few lines!!! who cares!! that’s true! every one is kid by heart 🙂 suppandi, is my best comic, reading these tales in bed time and laughing is seriously a bliss, Suppandi and iron box is the terror idea which is a big hit in the entire tale he had read so far.

    I guess most of the parents has the mentality you have said so far, when there are lot of academic books,why to put some more time into reading comic, but its a stress buster. My mom till now will never allow us to read, at times she will even warn my friends not to give such books to me, if I sit with a book in hand, immediate question will be, who gave this? for this purpose we use to put cover to these books and pretend as if we are reading a Non-detailed book 🙂 those days will never come back. The type of game we played, the small happiness in going round in cycle is something a big big present that age gave us.
    The kids of this generation will surely miss these, though they discuss more about the gadget games, I bet that will never come equal to that of the Name game, I remember reading only the tinkle book during my library period, and borrowing books are something I haven’t done, something like you 🙂 🙂 🙂

    You have really read a super book, malgudi days is in my book list which i am yet to read 🙂 🙂 but one thing is true, we have the time only after we get into job we have ample of time to read these stuff. I haven’t read any of the others books you have mentioned, let me just surf them 🙂

    • I am glad you were also able to relate to this Chipmunk. All these years I have thought I would be the only one, like this 🙂

      I too like Suppandi a lot. How fun it is to read him now. Whnever amma visits me now, she loves reading these kids books too 🙂 that is something I find very cute 🙂

      Very true Chipmunk. Most of our parents were from a generation where education was also a luxury. They didnt understand the thought of having more books. Atleast my parents fell into this category.

      LOL you are quite a smart person! Covering the comic books, super idea. But my dad would have found out 😦

      Name place things animals is the best way to learn new stuff. Going around bicycle would be something this generation kids would miss. Right. With school bus at door step, where is the scope for bicycle?

      I am sure you will love it Chipmunk. I read 3/4th of the book yesterday. Its so good, I am glad I am reading it now 🙂

      yeah, time is another factor. Now that we are working and have a lot of time, we can read as much we want!

  3. who cares.. read whatever you want.. I had access to books all the time however the numbers were few mostly due to financial constraints.. Now the joy I feel to buy books to heart’s content is just great…

    • yeah, thats my attitude too 🙂 Guess financial constraints played a part in my life too. May be thats why I couldnt force dad much.

      yeah. the pure joy of indulging in books, its just great!

      Welcome here Simple Girl 🙂

  4. I can also relate to you very much on this GB.. I always kept silent when my friends talked about story books in school since I would get to read only a few.. And those few were from the library of the school.. I started reading more books when I joined engineering and was studying in the 3rd or last year 🙂

    • I am glad I can find a lot of my blog friends who could relate to this. I seriously thought I would be the only one.

      I still got to only hear about books in Engineering. I made a mental note of all the books and I am still purchasing to this day 😀

      • That’s nice 🙂 Reading books will keep you happy.. especially the childhood ones.. so innocent and nice they were.. Read Heidi and Little Women if you get them 🙂 they are nice..

  5. I had an embrace-and-let-go relationship with books. I would embrace them during some times (mostly when no one is available to play cricket) but when outdoor/indoor games call me, I run for it! But there were times (when we moved to an individual house for example), when I read many books. I got a lot of famous five/secret seven books from my school library and then got many thrillers from the nearby lending library. My parents didn’t want to buy any books for me, but they were fine with me borrowing them from lending library, esp. during holidays.

    Destination Infinity

    • Welcome here DI 🙂

      Loved to know your experience with books. I am glad you could borrow books from a lending library. My locality never had a library at all. It still doesnt have one. Its such a sad state I know. Kids there even now dont know the importance of books and the parents are ok with it. Sigh.

  6. Books were introduced at a very early age, mainly due to Moore Market’s proximity to the railway station 😀 I hardly remember any book which I read first hand, it was always the second handed musty books which my parents picked whenever possible, in Chennai 🙂

  7. hey…i just discovered your blog by chance, its a very cute blog…:)
    I can completely relate to your post above. We had a similar childhood. Not access to many bools, however, i picked up reading after i joined work…:)..its been few years now and i enjoy it to the core….read whatever you like…who cares…:) good spirit!!..:)

    • Welcome here D 🙂

      I am glad you could relate to my post on books. When you have a passion for something, age doesnt matter. Atleast we could pick up reading after joining work 🙂

      Hehe thanks for the reassurance!

  8. Pingback: About reading | summerscript

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