*Waits for the furor to die down, and then continues*
You must know by now, that I love books. Give me a book and a corner to curl up in, and you can easily forget my existence [except at mealtimes, when you will be painfully reminded of it.] If someone tells me, "Go ahead and read for the rest of your life, all your needs will be taken care of", I will do just that. Go ahead and proceed to read. And read. And read.
So now, why is reading abominable? That's because when it's as passionate as a hobby as it is for me, you wouldn't prefer to do anything else other than read.
I love to sing, I love to sketch, I like to go out for walks. I love to meet people, I like to keep my house clean, but the problem is that I'd rather read than do any of these things. I have a truckload of dresses I cannot wear, because they don't have matching dupattas/accessories, coz I'd rather read then go out and look for them.
In fact, I didn't take up writing as a hobby for very long, because I felt I would prefer to read instead. [So, it is quite a wonder that this is my 100th post on this blog, not a mean achievement for someone who refused to start a blog coz "she didn't have anything to write about."]
My problem is that I read everything that can be read. I read signboards when I am on the road. I read idiotic ad posters while waiting my turn in a queue. I even read stuff like articles on how well Hum Aapke Hain Koun is doing, in a 1995 India Today while waiting at the doctor's! For heavens' sake, I even read the stuff on the paper covers made of magazine pages, in which they wrap bananas or medicines!
Sometimes it gets very irritating. It is as if there is a demon inside me which has to be sated. When I lived in TamilNadu for a while, I went crazy for a while coz I couldn't read Tamil signboards when I travelled. So I went ahead and learnt how to read and write Tamil, and the demon inside was happy.
When my sister needs to talk to me, she first clears the place of all reading material (and food), and only then talks to me. Coz it is only then that she gets my complete attention. Poor kid.
Sometimes, I have to confess, it is an escapist technique too. Something bothering me? Something unpleasant happening? Drown myself in a book.
As much pleasure as reading gives me, sometimes I wish I had never been introduced to books. I would have had so much time to do other things! An uncle once told me about his friend who doesn't read, his reasoning being that he would rather go out and experience life, rather than experience others' lives. I had scoffed at it at that time, but now I think he did have a point.
Oh I know, I know, all that I need to do is strike the right balance. Give the demon as much reading as it wishes, but wake up and give as much importance to the other things in life. Oh, I do have my priorities in order. I don't neglect important things, blah blah. But when something can be avoided, I most certainly do.
But, as they say, a problem recognized, is half-solved. I intend to cut down on reading drastically, and start smelling the flowers. I've even taken a few first steps. I have bought drawing sheets and pencils. I am going to leave my Tanpura/Tamboori at the music shop tonight, to get it repaired, and will resume singing once it is ready. I intend to even find a tailor and get all my dresses and gift sarees in order (most disgusting of tasks, but yet). Wish me the best, please.