The popular adage is that ” Diamonds are a girls best friend”. Often times my Mother would reprimand me for not wearing my jewellery.
She would say in malayalam “kashte oru maala ingilingum venum” ( there should atleast be a gold necklace around your neck).
She would also tell me to buy jewellery for myself. And would often say that I was the only one in the family who would not wear or buy jewellery.
“Look at your brother and sister. They both wear jewellery. Your brother Tony wears even more jewellery than you do. And you are the girl. ” (Mom looks disgusted)
“Well Ma, I share your love for books” I smile indulgently at her. “You know, my books always compete with jewellery. I can never have enough of books. Or technology now. Since all my books are on my smartphone now. So, it’s always a choice between Samsung latest version smartphone with gold jewellery. And of course , tech wins”
” But you are a girl. Who has ever heard of or seen a girl without jewellery?”. She sounds exasperated.
“Ma, I just don’t see the value in it. Jewellery doesn’t help me create PowerPoint slides for presentation, Excel sheets for data collection or utilise G Suite for managing my day to day life. Or even understand my mind and my heart and help me create. My smartphone does. ”
“Ok Fine. But when you come home to me, you have to have a gold necklace. I don’t care what you do when you are not at home”, said my Mom, conceding my point
I laugh and hug her. ” You know that you are my inspiration. Where do you think I got my love for books? You were the culprit. ”
My mom shook her head, ” Yes, I know. I only created this problem. I still remember you throwing a tantrum at the book fair because I wouldn’t buy you your favorite Nancy Drew book. ”
” Those were the days Mom. We never could afford to buy books for pleasure. But I remember finishing up all the books in the library. And thankfully, you got me a membership to another library where I could borrow six books at a time. And then not to mention how I used to read all my sister’s and my brothers books.”
“Yeah, you were too crazy about books.”
” I think I used to read all my friends’ books too. Wow! That must have been a lot of books I read. I have actually never kept a track of all the books I read. I think I should. Maybe that’s why my head is full of ideas all the time. ”
” life is not lived by reading books alone, you know. You also have to live life and be practical. Reading a lot sometimes only makes you smart academically. You have to deal with people and situations to know how to navigate life. Observe. Make mistakes. Books are not manuals to life. They can help you escape from reality and distract yourself from your problems at hand. ”
” Well, It can also offer solutions to problems, give you a different perspective. Help you create an abstract world where you try different permutations and combinations of strategies you would like to employ.Also meet people you have never seen, understand their culture, motivations and glean inspiration from achieving milestones which give a new direction to humanity. Imagine if Ferdinand Magellan never had the courage to travel around the world. He was the first circumnavigator who travelled around the world and destroyed the myth that the earth was flat. And if nobody wrote a book about him, nobody would know. And if I didn’t read about it, I wouldn’t have known of this heroic man. ”
My mom shook her head. ” No point arguing. Just wear jewellery when you come to see me. End of discussion”
I laugh. That’s my mom. Practical, independent, intelligent with a sprinkle of South Indian Kerala conservative beliefs.
But this conversation did take me down memory lane and I would love to list all the books I have read. Because I did not own any of them and all were borrowed from the library and to the library they were returned so other little girls who were crazy about books could read them . I plan to buy all of them on kindle and download it to my phone. No more budget for that pair of diamond earrings. Lol!😆😆😆
MY FAVORITE BOOKS (This List will keep being edited as I remember )
3rd , 4th and 5th Grade –
3) Nancy Drew
4) Hardy boys
5) The 3 Investigators by Alfred Hitchcock
6) The Famous Five By Enid Blyton
6th, 7th , 8th, 9th Grade
10th , 11th and 12th Grade
1) The Alchemist
2)Veronika Decides to Die
3) The Valkyries
4) 11 minutes
3) We the Living
4) The Romantic Manifestoe
1) Rage of Angels
2) stranger in the Mirror
3) If Tomorrow Comes
1)Kane and Abel
2) The Prodigal Daughter