#39 Bully to Bookworm

Hey there,

This one is about the prevalent love for books.


‘Why would anyone slog through a book?’ The incessant question that I never found the answer to, until I turned 15. It was a justifiable question. The opportunity cost of reading a book was unreasonably high for me. The myriad activities, which included the act of doing nothing was the benchmark for the books to beat and let me tell you, the books never even tried to entice me. 1-0 to nothing.

At the risk of sounding mind-numbingly repetitive with the context, i.e. my origin, I was a tomboyish adolescent who had grown much taller than the rest, that in turn gave me a demonic advantage, that I unjustly used to intimidate others. Nerds, or ‘readers’ were one of my main victims for demonstrating the unsolicited, unrequested and mind you, completely unacceptable act of bullying.

But I do believe in karma and let me tell you why. After my shenanigans at a co-ed school, I was sent off to a single-sex school. And the girls in a gender-isolated education system are built different. It’s like Hogwarts for the Hulk. All in all, I knew what it felt like to be at the receiving end of the browbeating.

And there, in the midst of feeling like a misfit, I met another. We sought refuge in each other’s company and were labeled as the two newbies.

The bondage was based on the similarity of our situations… nothing else. I say nothing else with such confidence because I invited her for basketball and she handed me a copy of ‘Gone With the Wind’. It’s funny how life laughs at you the same way you once laughed at others because I accepted the invitation to read. I accepted because I was afraid of losing the only friend I had made. However, I negotiated my way to her handing me a book with fewer pages.

I began my journey with Nancy Drew and I was hooked. Like a loyal customer, or an addict, I kept going back for more. I genuinely had liked reading but I didn’t know why. Be it munching on some popcorn or commuting, I always had a book with me. By the end of the year, the label had changed from newbie to ‘bookworm’. And I realised why I loved reading after I finished ‘Gone With the Wind’ in 7 days (not bad for a newbie, I can assure you).

And now let me tell me why I loved reading.

It’s the escape I’ve always wanted. Bear in mind, it’s not a need, it’s a want. It’s like a drug that confines you with your mind for a couple of hours and gives you a glimpse of what could be.

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