The First Book You Fell In Love With
May 08, 2018
Lubaina Bandukwala, wearer-of-several-book-related-hats, also lists Blyton as a significant influence. She credits Blyton not only with transforming her into a lifelong reader – “I don’t know if I would have picked up books in the same way if I’d stuck to The Panchatantra” – but also with sparking an interest in food and cooking. Blyton’s culinary descriptions are legendary. Bandukwala loved The Secret Island and continues to keep it at her bedside to occasionally dip into. “The idea of escaping to an island, living by yourself and being resourceful always appealed to me,” she says. Growing up in Hyderabad with a bunch of Blyton-loving friends, Bandukwala lived the books – be it by forming secret clubs which met under the local mango tree or by reimagining the massive boulders which dotted the landscape as abandoned ships to be explored.
Writer-illustrator Lavanya Karthik’s earliest book-sweetheart was an English translation of When Daddy Was A Little Boy by Alexander Raskin. “But that affection was nothing compared to the feeling of discovering the books of James Herriot when I was twelve,” she gushes. Herriot led her to other beloved authors such as Gerald Durrell and Nevil Shute. She continues to pick up Herriot books to relive their humour and the quiet life he so lovingly documents. “Here was a man writing about what he knew and loved deeply, and it shows in every book in the series,” she explains. “But the stars of the books are the animals he treats, or meets, in his line of work. Each one is a character!”
Interestingly, teenager Teesta Rawal doesn’t have a childhood favourite despite being an avid reader while she was growing up. “When I was younger I just read what my mother recommended,” she explains. “I didn’t fuss much and there was rarely anything I didn’t read.” Reading, however, came to a grinding halt during her last few years in school. “As an adult I picked up reading again only in the second semester of college after having stopped for nearly four years,” she says. It was My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff which finally managed to break through her sudden disinterest and rekindle her love for reading. “It was one of the most beautiful books I’d ever come across,” she enthuses. It also resulted in her being drawn to memoirs in general along with a newfound preference for nonfiction books.
Parinita Shetty likes books, board games, blanket forts, and cake. She dislikes procrastinating but not enough to actually stop doing it. She works with children's books in different ways and has managed to write a few too. She should currently be writing but is probably watching Doctor Who. You can reach her on Instagram.