I cannot remember a time when I didn’t read. My mom tells me I started reading at the age of 4. I could read Urdu as well as English. It is impossible to list all the publications that my parents subscribed to. The number kept increasing as the kids got older. In the beginning, we were only allowed to read Urdu magazines for kids, Naunehal, Taaleem-o-Tarbiyat, Saathi etc. There were no English magazines for kids at that time. Thankfully, my school library had all the English books that I could hope for.
As I grew older, I got my hands on Readers Digest, Mag Weekly, She, Daily Dawn, Daily Jang, Akhbar-e-Jahan, Imran Digest, Jasoosi Digest, then later on, Time, Newsweek and for a while, even The Economist. I read everything I could lay my hands on; my friends used to tease me that all the books in the library had my name at least once on the issue cards. No one ever stopped me from buying books and I grew up thinking that it is perfectly normal to finish a book in a day or two (I still think that, by the way.)
After graduation and marriage, it was my good luck to stumble upon The Readers Club. It was the best thing that could happen to a person like me. I was in heaven. I don’t think I have read as many books as I read during the time.
In 2010, we decided to move to Dubai, I packed my books and for the next 6 years, kept buying more and more, while reading less and less. At first, I thought it was the kids. They were too young, I was too busy with them. For the first time in my life, I didn’t want to read. Then in 2016, we moved again. This time the destination was Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
It took me a year to come to terms with the fact that the kids are grown up now. They’re in school all day. Life in Riyadh is not busy, infact it is the opposite of busy. So, I decided to pick up my books again. I’m astonished by the speed with which I have been reading for the last 3 months! Looks like I’m making up for lost time.
I don’t know what made me decide to put my passion into words, but I’m trying to do what I know best. Read.