|Image Source : Henu, Pratham Books|
But then, one day, something happened. I remember the exact moment, the exact feeling even now, years and years later.
I had picked up a book called Born Free by Joy Adams. I was drawn into the book, much like Alice down the rabbit hole. It was a book that I wanted to be in, to be part of. This was the life I wanted to live, these were the people I wanted to be. The book is the first part of a trilogy about a family who adopt a lion cub and then set her free. I laughed and wept and fantasised. After I’d read the trilogy, I wanted — no — needed to read more. And so I did. And I haven’t stopped ever since.
What is it about reading that hooks people so much? You know the answer to that, you’ve read it in a hundred posters in the library. But to me, it is the ability to achieve every single dream and do every single thing, go to every single place that I want to, from the comfort of my own home. But not in a hit-the-pause-button-on-life kind of way. More in a get-into-the-skin-of-the-character, live-the-world-of-words kind of way.
That’s what got me into writing, too. I wanted to be an actress, a big movie star with a paparazzi tail. I also wanted to work with wild animals — it could be crocodiles and snakes. Just something, anything, more interesting than the life I was leading. I tried everything — did an acting course, spoke to the zoo director and wildlife rescue people. But no one was giving me a job. I decided to try to write about the life I wanted. It turned out to be quite a good story. While I was writing it, I realised that I was living it. And it was a really thrilling experience. I believed myself, and when others read it, they believed it, too. So I wrote some more. And more. I knew that this was what I was born to do.
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