It is Day 2 of Bar-A-Thon 2017 and today I am going to pour out all the questions I have been asked by the non-readers, I have known by the virtue of relation or acquaintance.
Okay, not all but 7 since 7 is the theme for this 15 days long blogging challenge with alternate day blogging.
This is a long post. I couldn’t help it since these questions have waited a long long time to get converted from emotions to words.
For those who will make the effort to read this till the end, I hope you enjoy it.
Q1: “Madam, aap IAS ki tayyari kar rahi hain?”
This must be from exactly 10 years ago. I was married for a year, still adjusting to the new household, also full-time working and commuting 1 and a half hours, one way, on the Delhi-Gurgaon road for work. There was absolutely no time to read other than in the evening on the way back home from the office in the office transport.
There was this group which made the most noise on the bus.
One such evening, when I was nose-deep in a book oblivious to all the noise and laughter in the bus, one person from that group came to my seat and asked me, “Madam, aap IAS ki tayyari kar rahi hain?” (Madam, are you preparing for the civil services exam?).
When I replied no, the next question was – why was I always studying?
Q2: “Arre aur kitna padogi?”
From where I come from, in case you are a woman who has completed her studies or is about to get married or is already married, then your foremost duty is to gossip about anything under the sun. And when you are not cut out for this, then you are in for a major problem. As it went, I spoke very little in those days and I preferred reading more than sitting with relatives.
One day, an exasperated Aunt couldn’t just contain herself and questioned me “Padhai khatam to ho gayi. Arre aur kitna padogi?” (You have finished your formal education, how much more will you study/read?)
Q3: “Jab padna nahin hota to khareedte kyun ho?”
We know a lot of people who love shopping, all kinds of things. So it goes for me too. But as a book lover, I always shopped for books. Never interested in buying clothes or jewellery or footwears to name some. And, I hoarded books more than I could read which irritated my mother. This was wastage of money according to her and I would be scolded with, “Jab padna nahin hota to khareedte kyun ho kitaabein?” (Why do you buy books when you don’t read them?)
Q4: “Jab kitaabein khareedi hain to padh bhi liya karo.”
This is more of a statement on the outset but the question lies in its spirit. The scenario is same as in Q3 but the questioner, this time, is my father who would ask a rather mellowed down version of my mother’s question, equally concerned about the money wastage, with “Jab kitaabein khareedi hain to padh bhi liya karo” (When you have bought the books, then you should read them.)
Q5. “Dharmik kitaabein kyun nahin padti?”
I was bedridden in the first trimester of my pregnancy due to a complication. I took a sabbatical for a year from work. As much as I was concerned about the fetus, a part of me felt exhilarated with getting all the time in the world to lie in the bed and just read. One fine day, I overheard, “Pata nahin saara din kya padti rehti hai, dharmik kitaabein kyun nahin padti?” (Not sure what she keeps reading the whole day. Why doesn’t she read religious texts?)
Q6: “Why can’t you keep aside your reading habit?”
A mother’s primary role is to invest herself completely in raising her child, no matter if she is working or stay at home. Thus, it was felt that my interest in reading was an escapism from my motherhood duties. Hence the question, “Why can’t you keep aside your reading habit for a few years until Dhruv grows up?”
Q7: “Did reading make you fat?”
I was asked this question recently at the time when I was becoming the poster girl (there is no such word as poster woman, isn’t it) of the apartment for losing 6 Kg in 3 months. The figures are not too impressive, however, the difference feels good. All sorts of questions came my way but this one tops my list, “Did sitting and reading all day make you fat?”
Now how do I answer that? My answer will oscillate between ‘True and Not True.”
Linking this post to Day 2 of the second edition of Bar-A-Thon on the theme ‘Seven’
Here is my other post for Bar-A-Thon 2017