Reading nowadays gets you to all places,all news ,all people.
In the past when I first started reading back in the late fifties,books were scarce.Newspapers were far in between.So where did I get my sumber pembacaan? It was from the grocery stores. May it be the gula wrappers, the cabai kering wrappers ,all would be neatly unfolded and the contents read with vigor. Sometimes even the smell of belacan would not deter me from reading the news or enjoying the cartoon strips.
When in the English primary school I was intoxicated by the books in the library .Mrs Wong ,my class teacher in year 4 always held reading together sessions along the corridor .Until today,I could still remember how this favourite teacher of mine swept us off our feet with her stories. Cinderella, Snow White ,Little Red Riding Hood were some of them. Then,I would imagine myself be transformed into miss Cinder one day and miss White the next.
In Malay primary school,one reading book still lingered in my memory. With colourful illustrations, one of the stories ,held true to my own experience. The story of a boy who rescued his friend by stoning a water jar.Remember my episode of near misses?
So passionate was myself with reading that I was given the honour to be the school library secretary in my secondary years. And the teacher relegated the task of interpreting books in English to Malay.Unfortunately, I‘ve forgotten the name of the teacher .What came out of the venture sir? Cos I never came across any book with my name on sale.Ha ha.
Borrowing the most number of books per week was my escapism.
Tucked under the safety of the 4 poster bed I buried myself into the books.Some of which my mother would have fainted had she known her daughter was reading them.Profanity,blasphemy were all over some the books that I got from my own school library.Maybe there was no such thing as tapisan keselamatan or whatever. Description of some were in the superlatives.Mujurlah we read ,but we were not mislead. Tho I learned all those words years back ,I restrained from using them. As I said no to #**&*^%
Writing is second to reading in pursuit of my passions.When my brother related the love stories that I used to write and he had curi curi read them. In my form 4 year I managed to sketch love stories in comics by way of inspiration from the girlie comics I borrowed from friends. The hero was Azman and again I forgot about the heroin. The story ended the same as my girl’s love story ended.How peculiar.
Now,I dont think I could get back to sketching handsome heroes and beautiful innocent heroins.
There were times I dreamed that I was that famous writer of lovey mopey novels famous world over. Now they are my elusive dreams.