#7: Looking back
I’ve been Roll number 7 for the past three years and this fact has deeply impinged into my personality. If you were wondering why every issue of this newsletter has exactly seven links, well you know now! Harry Potter was one of the things that shaped my childhood and the number 7 was extremely important in the series - 7 books, 7 horcruxes, 7 Weasley children, 7 players in Quidditch - well you get the gist.
Last week, I found out that I was not roll number 7 anymore and I was devastated. I felt like a part of me had vanished (I’m not this dramatic I swear). I’m now roll number 8, my cousin tried to make me feel better by saying that it’s a better one because it’s a cube number, but I have my doubts. This led me to think about how something as trivial as a roll number meant so much to me, identity wise. If you take a look at the photos from my phone (I have about 10,000 please don’t judge), you can clearly see different phases of my obsessions with different books, movies, personalities, music and TV shows which culminate into who I am today, which is sort of nice since I can look back and have a clear timestamp on it.
When you’re growing up, a lot of miniscule things end up influencing you a lot, so I don't know if what I’ve written above even leads to this but - these are the books I read during my formative years. When I was a kid, my parents used to take me to Senthil Library almost every weekend religiously, and I used to take home with me about four to five books (which was all I was allowed), which I used to devour so quickly that before I knew it, I was finding myself greeting the librarian and asking him which book I can dive into next! My mother used to read only and only books by Georgette Heyer, and every time I went to the library I instantly knew what to get her. She didn’t mind reading the same ones over and over - Frederica and The Black Moth.
I still remember reading The Witches by Roald Dahl one night, and being extremely terrified, but I still persevered. Roald Dahl’s imaginative powers are unmatched, and with Quentin Blake’s unique and lively illustrations, it was just *chef’s kiss*. I still enjoy reading his books but parted with them last year and gave away most of my childhood treasures to my niece, in the hopes that she would cherish these books as a part of her childhood, as I did with mine. I absolutely hold Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox, Danny the Champion of the World and The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me close to my heart. I resonated only too much with Matilda and seeing the book come alive on screen only made things sweeter. Wes Anderson’s adaptation of Fantastic Mr Fox is another notable mention, which I have watched time and time again.
When someone mentions Enid Blyton, talk of The Famous Five and The Secret Seven are made, but I for one think of Malory Towers and St Claire’s. Malory Towers follows Darrell Rivers and her adventures at a new all-girls boarding school. It’s filled with bouts of mischief, accounts of formation of new, soon to be everlasting friendships and a sheer amount of competitiveness as well. Reading this series made you actually feel like you were one and the same as the characters and that’s why I found myself not being able to put it down! Subconsciously, I too wanted the exciting boarding school life, navigating situations on your own. Naughty Amelia Jane follows the antics and the pranks of Amelia, and though I was a relatively disciplined kid, I think a part of me wanted to rebel after reading this series. I had a few Enid Blyton books at home and wanted to give them away but my mother was too attached, she outright refused!
The Geronimo Stilton books caught my classmates at school by storm! There was such high demand for these books that you had to rush to the library, run up those narrow and distorted flights of stairs to go and reserve your share. It follows Geronimo Stilton, journalist and editor of The Rodent’s Gazette, at New Mouse City. The text in these books stand out - with them in different colours, fonts and tiny drawings next to them, making them attractive to the eyes of many.
I’ve been in a rut with respect to reading for God knows how long. It makes me feel sad looking back at how much I used to read, maybe it’s time for me to start again by reliving my childhood through the eyes of these books.
Links you’ll love
Back to the basics - The Immune Response - My college friends and I decided to make a series of videos on vaccination and our body’s immune response with the hopes of debunking the myths and misconceptions surrounding the vaccines that’s been going around (shameless self promotion - check!).
This website has a ton of questions that you can ask yourself or someone you want to get to know. I thoroughly enjoyed asking myself questions which I’ve never thought of before and got to know myself a little more! (via The Alipore Post).
My favourite standing abs workout, except for the high-knees, I’ll always loathe them.
@paperboatdrinks always makes me think of my childhood and leaves me in a wave of nostalgia!
Rebecca Solnit on Hope in Dark Times, Resisting the Defeatism of Easy Despair, and What Victory Really Means for Movements of Social Change.
Take care everyone!
Kudos to your awesome reading!! Best wishes fir even more reads... apart from the volumes that you have to devour as a medical student!!
Ah, Geronimo Stilton brings scholastic book fair memories. I remember seeing some shady books there.