I don’t remember the name of the story, and that’s what’s sad. But, I do remember the story that made a large chunk of my childhood a bliss. It was written in Bangla, my native tongue, and I wasn’t quite fluent in reading it. Mom used to read it to me at least twice every day. At one point, i had it known by heart and knew exactly how much of it went on each page.
About the same time, I remember reading newspapers like I could read one of those huge pages in ten minutes flat from top to bottom. I didn’t REALLY read. I just ran my eyes over the page and murmured continuously in some language even I didn’t know. Reported my mother and aunt, that it sounded to them like it was Hebrew! I don’t know how they knew what Hebrew sounded like. Please don’t ask me.
I had this notebook where I scribbled. I like to think it was my work notebook. That I was getting paid to fill page after page with meaningless lines. That I actually worked for an insurance company and I had to pen all the insurances. I know now that insurance companies don’t work like that. But that was just a childhood fantasy. Every day was a new blank page. Everyday, I’d sit next to the window and scribble in line after line like an artist struck by the muse. Everyday, I’d have a new imaginary client. Everyday, I’d be wearing a different coat. Everyday, my lightsaber would be a different color. Literally. I was changing lives in fantasy land.
In retrospect, I never really had a dream reader. I still don’t. From the beginning, I wrote for different people, and the way I wrote, the way I addressed problems, changed with every person. Stephen King, in his book On Writing, talks about an ideal reader. I don’t believe I’ve found that person yet. My friends can be very supportive. They read my works and give me constructive feedback as well as advice on which places to fix. If they like something, they let me know. And if they don’t like something, they blast it in my face. They are probably the only people who are okay with doing that, and the only people I’m okay with doing that. They’re the ones I share my important projects with.
J.K Rowling once said in a talk she delivered at Harvard, that she always believed she was meant to write something great. I share that belief. I don’t know What fate has in store for me. But it never hurts to believe.