I did not choose The Lord of the Rings, The Lord of the Rings chose me.
Back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, we used to get these 5-in-1 and 7-in-1 movie discs that were pirated copies of English movies. I had an entire folder filled with such DVDs and it was my favourite pastime to find pretty folders to lovingly organize my prized DVDs.
Grocery shopping is my ultimate favourite thing to do. If I was looking to replace a library as my safe space, it would be a grocery store. So while I was in Singapore doing my Masters, since there wasn’t a library nearby, the local supermarket company Sheng Siong became my favourite place.
I was in school and had just discovered the marvels of reading. A friend and I used to reach school before anyone else and we spent those fifteen minutes in bliss, discussing Famous Five and Nancy Drew. We had made a pact that she and I would buy different titles so we could swap books.
It was a balmy summer afternoon. The weather seemed in a good mood because there was a cool breeze blowing. Mom was chatting with a relative in the drawing room and I was in my bedroom, still innocent, unknowing how my life was going to change in the next few days.
I was introduced to Shakespeare in class eighth by an abridged version of Romeo and Juliet. I knew RJ was supposed to be a love story but after reading the actual story, I remember being unimpressed, thinking what an utter waste of love and life. What was the point – the two died in the end.
When I first started writing, the only goal I had was to become a published author. Not just a published author but a best-selling author. The dream was very clear and when I finished my first manuscript, all polished and ready to be sent off to make me the next best thing, I was convinced that this was it. My golden ticket. Even though I had been warned that the hard part of writing begins after writing, even though I knew that publishing is as much about a good piece of work as it is about luck, timing and place, I was hopeful and gleeful.
First up, a year or two ago, I couldn’t have even imagined writing a post like this. Somewhere between turning 26 and turning 29, I lost the plot with books. I think it also happened because I moved houses and lost touch with my library.
It was a glorious library – tiny, filled with books from the floor to the ceiling and had that special library, musty, smell. The proprietor was an old man and any time I would enter, he would be watching a discussion on a news channel. But understanding the sacredness of choosing a book, he would reduce the volume as soon as I’d step inside.
Your perfume lingers
In the things you left behind
Your favourite notebook
A silver bangle that dances –
to whose tune only it knows
In your favourite red polka dot dress
And the pillowcase under your head.
When I was writing the post on knowing your triggers, it occurred to me that though I had a checklist for how to overcome bad days or how to know something is triggering me or that I need to make some shift in my daily routine to sleep better, etc. I didn’t have a checklist for good days.
But why do I need such a checklist?
The thing I love about being a reader – or being a bookworm – is the bragging rights that come with it. You don’t find people bragging or congratulating someone for binging a series successfully. But say you finished a book in 24 hours and suddenly there will be people who will congratulate you and a bunch of others who will be jealous of your ability to concentrate on ONE thing for any duration of time.
Speaking of, I’m at 96% of my target for 2021! My digital library: