The nightly ritual was to curl up with a good book. Little me would wriggle in between my parents, clutching my own, earnestly pondering the pages and turning them periodically, “reading” a book that was often upside-down. Baba recounts this start of my reading journey fondly. Growing up in the rainy monsoons of Bombay, I devoured countless Enid Blytons and Roald Dahls before graduating to Harry Potter when I was six.
Around that time, is when I co-authored my first titled story whose audience extended beyond my stuffed animals. It was called The Quadruplets because four of us wrote the book together and it was an immensely cool word at the time. At 10, in between Harry Potters 5 and 6 and obsessed with Narnia, my best friend and I came up with The Trio Trekkers: the adventures of Jupiter Jones, George Scott and Jack Trent with me as the writer and her as the illustrator. She drew this back then! And this was my first story with a wider audience.
Six cities, two continents and well over a decade later, the towering piles of books are continuing their skyward growth as I fruitlessly attempt to read them all, though I don’t think that’s a battle I actually want to win!
A friend had this brilliant idea of reading a book from every country in the world in a year. Or, at the rate I’m going, several books over the course of several years. It’s whole new worlds of books, which have already led to some extraordinary discoveries!