In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Call Me Ishmael.”
“In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit.”
I was less than a decade old when I first detected the craze about Tolkien. I watched in awe as my brother plugged in a disk in the DVD player and sat in front of the TV for hours, crying. At times I wanted to ask him to get off the couch because at this rate I was going to miss the daily installment of Tom & Jerry again.
But, even at that time, the songs stuck in my head. To this day, I sing May It Be and Into The West when I’m alone or when I have to put my baby cousin to sleep.
I remember my mom and dad confiscating his copy of LOTR and hiding it in the storage on top off their bathroom. The place was dark and damp and full of rats. He was apparently reading it when he was supposed to be studying for his O levels. I don’t remember seeing that copy ever afterwards. They probably forgot, and then we moved.
I know, sad.
For good measure, though, my bro scribbled all over the walls and doors before we left.
A few years later, I was taken over by reading craze, and I asked him to lend me The Hobbit.
Despite the heavy reading, it was one heck of a ride. Reading Bilbo’s journey from Bag End to The Lonely Mountains, climbing over the steep ledge that was his pride at being a Baggins, to find that just like his grandfather, the Old Took, he craved for adventure, was in itself an adventure. I was just eleven, and now that I look back, it is amazing that I managed to finish that book at that age and understand what was going on. Because when I ask my friends if they’ve read it, or if they even WANT to read it, they just give me this contorted and reluctant look.
They don’t get Shakespearean, they say. Its not Shakespearean, dummy! Its Tolkienian!
How reading this masterpiece affected my life, is simply more amazing. I made references to it during English class, and no one would get me except the teacher. He like me a lot, and that was a constant joke for all my classmates. He told me to give Narnia a try, Haven’t done that yet. Its just TOO BIG!
And that was what I though when I saw the size of the three LOTR books combined. When I flipped through the pages, the size of the print was so small, if it were anyone else, they would’ve backed away that exact minute.
Except, this was me. I wanted to know what happened after Bilbo came back. I wanted to know Aragorn’s story. I wanted to know everything there was to know about that One ring to bring the all and in the darkness bind them.
Hats off to everyone in my family who read it and gave me the courage to go with it. Bhaiya and Chottammu, to you two especially.
After Harry Potter, reading this classic was what set it in stone for me. I wanted to be able to do that too. To transport readers to a whole different world completely, and make them live the lives of those in the story.
This daily prompt was published on the 11th of January, 2015.