Updated: Oct 19, 2021
My love for reading goes back to all the way when I was about eight years old. We were going for a family trip from New Jalpaiguri to Vellore. It was almost a 36 hours train journey in the sleeper coach. My father bought the infamous book PANCHATANTRA from the railway platform, somewhere on the way. I have bits and pieces of memories of reading the chapters in Hindi, loudly to my parents, especially after dinner, before sleeping. Since then, my love for fictions only increased with time. The school library, which had a thousand books neatly stacked in its cupboards, was my favorite place in the earth. So much so that I would visit the library even during the summer and winter holidays. It was the only time when I didn't have to wait for my turn to read a book or issue one under my name. Oh, what a wonderful feeling it was, to have the whole library to myself! Bundles of Tinkles, Readers Digests, Famous Fives, the Secret Sevens and what not!
At about twelve years of age, I finally discovered the American Comic book Archie and Friends. The library just got a huge donation of almost a hundred of those comic books and I felt like I was introduced to a new realm of reading. It wasn't until my father saw one of those comic books under my pillow, that I came to know about his huge dislike for them. He made it very clear that day, that reading comics was simply a waste of time, and that they don't contribute to learning English at all. To tell you about my father, he was a bit of a dictator in the house. So, I had no other option other than to continue my affair with these colored books of pictures, in extreme secrecy.
That entire year all the way until I finished my school at the age of sixteen and a half, I read each one of the comic books that the library had. Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Chacha Choudhury, Supandi, and all the other digests, and the double digests. A couple of times, I did get the 'Indian parent lecture' and a thrashing here and there, but it was all worth it.
To tell you the truth, the comic books only increased my intensity of love for books, if I may put it that way. I was probably one of the few students in school who took full advantage of having access to free books. The comic books were just one of the many genres that I enjoyed along with Harry Potter books, Enid Blyton books and PremChand books.
I am 31, and I still buy comic books. I do get some looks when I am reading them in the train, or bus or even in my house, but I have long grown out of it. In fact I honestly believe that after animated movies, comic books are the best!
Happy reading people!
& do share your favorite comic book character in the comments.