Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Sophie Did It!

I spent a good deal of time thinking this over, and came to a realization - My life changing moment was not a moment per se, but a book.

This is the story of the book that changed my life.


My parents did a pretty good job raising my sister and me; I am sure, beyond doubt, I was the tougher one. I was born a rebel. Not the kind who does things she shouldn't; no, I was the kind of rebel who didn't want to do what she should. Homework? Grumble fest. Daily piano practice? Stubborn stony silence. I did always do what was required of me, but not without first making it clear I took no pleasure whatsoever in the task. My poor parents must have reached the end of their tether much more frequently with me than with my sister.

One thing my dad was intent on getting me started on as early as possible was reading. I loved listening to stories, I enjoyed reading picture books and comics, I really liked it when I was read to...but when dad started saying, "Here's a (real, picture-less) book I picked out for you. I want you to read it, it's nice.” I rebelled. I must have been 6 or 7 years old at that time. (In retrospect, I think my parents didn't realize they needed a completely different approach with me than with my sister. I am the kind of person who does not like to be "made" to do something. If I'm forced to, I lose interest in the task. If the idea comes from myself, I'm enthusiastic. That's still a major trait of mine.)

Back to the story, dad spent some time everyday making me read a bit. I enjoyed the stories, but not the "being made to read" part. The major problem was, living in a relatively small town in Country B, which back then didn't offer quite as much as it does now, books for children were very hard to come by. After a few semi-interesting books, the next one on the agenda was "Arabian Nights". Murders, revenge, abduction, fights, torture, blood...yeah, not exactly the kind of thing a 6 year old girl's dreams and fantasies are made of. That book very nearly destroyed whatever interest I had in reading. Thankfully, dad discovered a critically acclaimed children's book and bought it immediately. That book changed my life. I was hooked. I read page after page, devouring the whole book much faster than any other before it. The passion had been ignited, and it was not to be satiated with one book. I was bodily thrown into the world where books are the only way of life.

That book which changed me was (one of) Sophie’s Adventures by Dick King-Smith. It’s part of a series…which I didn’t know until a minute ago, when I searched for an image online!


Maybe I identified with the young, stubborn, animal-loving Sophie. Maybe the book came along at the right time point. I don't know exactly why, but that was that one single thing that pushed me into the world of books I now lovingly hold dear.

I think maybe at some time, sooner or later, one or the other book might have converted me into the novel worshipper I now am, but right then, it was Sophie who took my hand and lead me into the world of books. That book changed me, and changed my life by opening up a whole new world for me to explore and live in.

Maybe I should revise my first sentence: My life changing moment was the moment I met Sophie.

What was your life changing moment?

Today's prompt: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Rope Analogy

There was this girl I was friends with in school. In fact, she was my best friend for a couple of years till we reached the age of 14. Then something happened, and suddenly we were at the opposite end of the friendship spectrum. It was over, and I moved on.

A few years later, I formed a small study group with a couple of friends. One of them brought my former friend along too one day, and despite our differences, I couldn't back out as that would have ruined everything for the whole group. As time went by, we got more civil, and eventually started regarding each other as "friends" again. We studied together, we laughed, we hung out. And yet, something always kept prickling my subconscious. I didn't feel very comfortable in her presence. My guard was always up. The friendship felt superficial...and forced.

This disturbed me, and also affected my results from the combined study we were doing in the group. I confided my misgivings to my mum. That's when mum told me,

"You can tie a severed rope back together, but the knot will always be present."


Needless to say, my relationship with that friend soon soured. Again.

I find that what mum said is true. An ex is an ex for a reason, be it friend, partner, or anything else. You can glue the pieces back together, be civil for the sake of civility, but it won't be the same relationship again. Forgiveness is all fine, but expecting a once-broken relationship to go back to what it was is not feasible.

Jenni is hosting a blogging challenge this month. I expect I'll sporadically be joining in on the fun.

Today's Prompt:  Pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered.

Monday, 2 September 2013

You Filthy Little Liar

If you remember this post from a few months ago, I spoke of the need to not check things obsessively. One thing I used to do daily in the morning, out of habit, was checking my weight. The weighing machine sits conveniently in the kitchen (I don't know how it got there), so before breakfast, I'd automatically weigh myself. Not because I'm keeping tabs on it or anything. Just...because.

For the past two months, though, this pattern was broken due to inconveniences resulting from the renovation that’s currently on. I pulled out my faithful weighing machine again a couple of days ago, fully prepared to see a higher number than the last time I’d checked (I’ve not exactly been watching my dessert consumption). The weight indicated by the machine shocked me.


According to it, I lost a couple of Kilograms! Yeah, right. Who are you kidding, you filthy little liar. I can see I’ve been piling on a little. I can feel my jeans fit a little snugger. Are you trying to make me think those two big slices of black forest cake I had yesterday are perfectly fine? (In my defense, I bought the cake half-off. Who would be crazy enough to pass up a chance to buy a black forest cake at 50% off??)

Time to change your batteries, you old fibber. I’d rather know the cold hard truth than get lied to.