Web of imagination


Many, many years ago, when my two-year old son had just started devouring picture books and peg puzzles, one of his favourite books was a peg puzzle book about farm animals. He would constantly take the animal pegs out and put them back in, calling out their names – cow, pig, horse, duck and so on.

Soon after, and when my son was still in love with the book, we visited my husband’s parents. Seeing how much my son loved the farm book, my father-in-law decided to take him to a nearby farm to show him the cows there. All of us went along!

My son kept jabbering away on our drive to the farm. When he finally saw the cows, he froze. His eyes were like saucers. He backed away at jetspeed saying, “These cows are soooooo big…my peg cow is small.”

Courtesy – http://www.pexels.com

Completely overwhelmed, he came running to me and asked to be lifted. When I carried him, he buried his head in my shoulder, trying to make sense of what he had seen and what he had believed was a cow till that point!!!

Only at that time did we realize that he had not yet seen a cow in real life. It took a while for him to process and correlate what he had seen.

Cut to yesterday. I was on a video call with my sister, and the moment we started talking, my niece wanted to tell me a story from a picture book she was reading.

She narrated the story of The Lion and the Mouse. She narrated each line with special effect sounds and voice modulation, her eyes and hands expressing what she couldn’t articulate in words. And then she said, “You know, Pemma, “The lion was caught by a hunter.”

She wanted to convey that the lion was trapped in the hunter’s net. And in her mind, the picture of the hunter’s net she had seen in her book looked like a spider’s web.

She finished her story with a flourish, “The lion was caught in the spider’s web, Pemma. Then the mouse helped the lion escape, and they lived happily ever after.”

As I hung up, I thought about young kids, and their innocent and colourful imagination. And how at some point, reality takes over!!

A bookworm’s journey


I remember some of the first books I read as a child. I must have been six or seven, when I got two books of the pop-up variety – one was Cinderella and the other was Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs.

image

Each time I turned a page, magical things happened. I still remember a page from the Cinderella book, which showed Cinderella sitting by the fireplace, looking pensive. On that page there was a broom that popped out, and three small kitchen jars that popped out.

I must have read those books a zillion times. Then started the love for comics, devouring every neatly drawn frame, enjoying the dialogues, more magic.

And then, suddenly my sister thrust an Enid Blyton into my hand and said, “Read this.”

It was the first book of the Secret Seven series. I was initially reluctant to read a book that had no pictures. But my sister  sold it to me!

I had taken an important step in my reading journey. Now, I could read words and imagine the scenes in my mind. This was a whole new experience. I gobbled up the entire collection of Blyton books.

‘Twas time to graduate to a new author, but again there was reluctance to move from my comfort zone. My sister was my role model, soon I was trying new books and new authors and new genres.

The years have flown by but my love affair with books continues to this very day. I love their titles, their smell, the many genres, the plots, the stories.

What’s your bookworm journey like? Would love to know.