Reading emancipates

by Victoria Madden

This is a lovely post from a newcomer to Blogosphere on the transforming powers of good books and what reading means to her. A would-be author (writing in her third language) she’s also a fully paid up member of our Wodehouse League of Nations so has my vote already.

I really like what she’s trying to do with her blog: it’s commentary rather than review, her viewpoint is an interesting one, and, particularly on those books I’m familiar with, she picks up on some unusual angles of thought.

It’s only a few months in and she’s still working out her voice (I see much of my early blogging beginnings here) but I think this is definitely one to keep an eye on.

I was brought up in an Indian middle class home where studies took precedence over everything else. And I am not talking figuratively here. Playing hopscotch, listening to a song, learning to dance, painting, and reading non-curriculum books, were all considered extra-curricular activities that you could pursue only when you were tired of cramming books, class notes, self-notes, and after you have narrated everything to an elder person. I was trained to eat quickly to save my precious study time.

But I also realize that my parents, their parents, and so on, were brought up in an extremely challenging environment. Three meals a day was never taken for-granted by my dad during his first 16 years on earth. So, I do not blame or argue with my parents, elders, society, or community about their beliefs.

But this post is not about them. It is about my third parent – a parent who had been brought…

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