It all started with ‘Once upon a time’. My sisters introduced me to a world of magic at a very young age, sharing with me their love of books and showing me that words have the power to transport, encourage and mystify. I have never once looked back.
Fairytales have a way of sucking you into another world, making you believe that princes will vanquish the evil witch and that the goblins under your bed can be repelled by light. Once upon a time was my beginning: of a love affair with books that have accompanied me through childhood, adolescence and then adult life.
Reading made me realize that as unpredictable as life is, stories are not. You know that Good will triumph in the end, while you hope that the Boy gets the Girl. As a six year old growing up in an Indian house with six adults, most of what I did was pre-written. Although my family was very supportive and my father thought me to reach for the skies, it was hard being the only kid at home with everyone always determining what I did and how I did it. So I started writing stories, stories where I was in charge of my own destiny. Fried fish and bath time had no place in my little world of sorcery and shooting stars.
Through stories about visiting aliens, talking animals and later, high school romances, I fell deeper and deeper in love with the written word. My personal favourite was the story I wrote about the rubber band when I was eight. It was about a red rubber band straight out of a Malaysian factory that made its way through shops, restaurants, hawker stalls and later different families, constantly living through cultural differences, privy to family secrets. In the end, my little rubber band, frayed and smudged at the end of its journey, lay on the hot tarmac and looked up into the sky thinking, “The world is indeed a marvelous place.”
Stories. It’s all about possibilities where even an insignificant little rubber band or a baby monkey with only one leg can have an adventure…..and experience magic.