Pretty much my life growing up in the 90s, summed in a title.
I did not have the luxury of playing with other kids - because there were far too few, and none of them passed my mother's good-for-you test - and so invariably I stayed in many days. Add to that, that I do not have a "native place" (born, brought up and based only in Mumbai), summer vacations were a drag really. My family, encouraged reading & writing right from the very beginning. I was gifted books & stationery when other kids were getting toys & board games. I know it sounds kinda lame, but since this was the ONLY way of life I was familiar with then, so for me, it was AWESOME! I think I get my nerd tendencies from time back then too, because many of these books were big fat encyclopaedias, far superior for my age, because I already exhausted the ones meant for my age. :)
Then in 7th grade, a kind girl from my class realised that I was not doing very well socially due to not having any friends around. My 6th grade class got reshuffled for the first time since KG, so I "lost" all my old friends. I was heartbroken, and incredibly shy & anxious. My only claim to fame was that I was a geek. Teacher's pet. Obviously that did not score me any points with the cool kids of the class, whom I so badly wanted to impress... Ugh. Life was hard in 7th grade for me.. :) So this girl randomly landed up beside me during Library hour and handed me a Nancy Drew & said 'Read this! I think you'll enjoy it!'. We went on to become really close friends throughout school & college.. :)
By middle of 7th grade, I had read every single Nancy Drew there was to read. By end of year, I had exhausted all the Sidney Sheldons in print. My teacher busted me reading Sidney's in class and she YELLED! What are you reading? YOU ARE READING THIS?!... all the while I mentally went, okay so I take it Mills & Boon's are off the table yes? :P. Ah!! Fond memories. :) (Which is also probably why, Sidney Sheldon still exists on my bookshelf. Lots of incidents and memories with each of the books I read more than a decade ago..)
When I moved into my own house, I only carried my book stash with me. I love the collection that I have compiled over these years.. Only 1/4th of all the books I own are currently on my minimalistic book shelf... someday I think an entire wall unit for books is in order. :)
P.S.: A note.
Happy birthday, you. If it hadn't been for a misplaced sense of love 11 years ago, our lives would have turned out very very different. Possibly, lives in which we were more than just spectators, as we are now. I am honestly glad mine turned out this way, I found what I was looking for all those years ago, and I know it is here to stay. I can only hope that you have also found your happy ending, the kind of ending that you are standing just on the brink of now, after all these years. It is a strange, unbelievable, amazing turn of events that has brought you back to literally where you started at, all those years ago, and from here on, I hope you find what you have been seeking all this while. Someday I am going to write about us, and it will like we almost believed it would be like. I think I owe us that. :)
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