My Mom had a job that kept her away for the whole day and Dad already was in a different town, but the latter ended up becoming a blessing when he used to bring me the fortnightly cartoon books, comics and story books that I would pore over, forsaking all games for the duration.
Reading was always a passion of mine, but language became a barrier when I couldn't find someone to hound till death to read out to me.
As I said already whenever a storybook written in our mother tongue was brought, my parents had no peace until every little word, phrase, vowel and consonant was wrung dry to my satisfaction.
Trying to skip words was no use (Believe me they TRied!!!
) because I seemed to have an uncanny sense of the letters and sounds they produced that my eyes seemed to read the book thru their minds.
Once when I had the Book I didn't have any hapless soul to terrorise, i fell into a quandry
. there was none I could turn to, beacuse none of our neighbours knew a letter of our language (the imbeciles!!!) and the nearest person at that time (around 3.30 in the afternoon) was a family friend (of the same community, thank the lord
). She had a son who had similar leanings and it was a double bonanza cz I got to share my book wid him.
The problem was transportation. I couldn't go alone as it was quite a distance (2 kms). But i was determined and I set out on my quest.
I seemed to walk forever in the heat of the sun, nimbly skipping over the dirt on the roadside, never daunted by the speeding lorries transporting god knows what, belching dark filthy smoke; all that because
of the prize I had in my hands--- my precious (BOOK!!) Gollum!!!
i reached their home, soothed aunty's misgivings, got the book read to my heart's content and to my friend's delight, then set out on my way back home, basking in the glory of my acheivement!!!
I could feel Joy pulsing through my blood as i stepped over the threshold of my home
, when it congealed into ice at the sight that awaited me.
She looked like an avenging angel (Personally, she looked like a demonness from the pits of hell!!!), all smoking nostrils.
The next thing i knew was my legs were leaving skidmarks on the floor as she dragged me to the bedroom and took up my ruler (MY wooden ruler!!! The cheek!) and smack! Owww!!!
My thigh stung with the force of the blow. The other thigh didn't get time to feel ignored when it got the same attention. In the middle of my (ahem! quite undignified!) squeals, my mother reminded my of some home truths!!!
1. It was 6 pm when i returned,(VERY Late!)
2. I had not told our maid where I was going (The little Snitch!!!)
3. The most important (She seemed to think so, I didn't!!!) I WAS JUST 6 years old!!!