I think it all began with my grandmother telling me stories – fantasy stories, some with morals, some without at night. It was the part of the day I really looked forward to as I was never the outdoorsy kind. Words spun into stories fed my imagination, helped me build a parallel I could escape into, a world that I could shape with mere thoughts. A world which to this day is growing, a new chapter added every night so I can fall asleep in the world I have created and not the lackluster one around.
I have much to thank my grandmom for but the foremost is for introducing me to the world of reading. This time when she visited around, I caught her straining her eyes to read a newspaper column despite complaining that her eyes water and words get blurry after a point. Everyday, maybe due to boredom or ritual or love, I saw her reading one article after the other, making sure she had taken in everything the paper had to say.
As far as I can remember I have always seen her read the Urdu paper front to back, sitting in her wooden bench in our village house. She would just as easily put down the paper when someone would arrive, but be sure to pick it up once they left. I would rather let the person be and go on reading but well apart from that we do share the love of reading. Maybe the only two people in our vast family that do.
I just wish I would be as in love with words in her age as she is.. maybe that will be my biggest thanks to her.