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The Birthday Gift

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Dear Sis,
It feels like it was just yesterday that a grumpy nurse gave the stinky little you (yup…you stank..like a three days old tetra packet of milk) to me outside the operation theatre. And here you are, turning twelve! When did twelve years pass? What was I doing all these years? Where was I when the little baby I knew began to change into a confident young woman? I regret not being there, but then, I feel happy and proud when I see where you have reached…without me pushing you from behind.

You are not like me. And I’m happy about it. You are studious, you’re pretty…well I wasn’t any of those when I was your age, though you would like to believe otherwise. But there was one thing which bothered me. The fact that you didn’t inherit my taste in reading. I was being judgmental. But then, I grew up. And so did you. I enjoy talking to you about Blyton and Dickens. Of secret societies and fairies and elves. So, what can be a better birthday gift than a reading list. I have listed out a few books that have touched me and changed me in ways no human could ever have and I want you to have a taste of those wonderful books too. Here is the list.

  1. The Grimm’s Fairy Tales: Yup…you read that right. I want you to re-read the fairy-tales which are often criticized for promoting patriarchal ideas because they taught me that dignity and self-esteem are never to be traded for a happily ever after.
  2. Harry Potter series- J.K. Rowling: It made me believe in magic and myself. It gave me hope on days everything went wrong. It still gives me a place to hide when I’m tired of the world. And I always emerge out fresher, stronger and happier, like Dumbledore’s phoenix.
  3. Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte: It taught me that I need not be pretty or rich to be the most important character of my story.
  4. The Golden NotebookDoris Lessing: It helped me find a name to my beliefs…Feminism.
  5. And The Mountains Echoed- Khaled Hosseini: It helped me understand how privileged I am and that love and friendship can survive the ugliest of wars.
  6. The Book Thief- Marcus Zusak: It taught me that imagination cannot be destroyed. Not even disctators and world wars.
  7. The Doll’s House– Henrik Ibsen: It taught me that everything comes with an expiry date…even a woman’s patience.
  8. The Haunted Bookshop– Christopher Morley: It taught me that books can haunt too and that it is the best thing that can happen to a place.
  9. The Prelude– William Wordsworth: It taught me how to love nature, poetry and solitude.
  10. The Hunger Games trilogy- Suzanne Collins: It taught me what could happen to the world if we continue being greedy and selfish.

I hope you’ll learn what I learnt and more, which you could enlighten me with. I wish you a very happy birthday and a productive year ahead. And in the coming days, may the odds be ever in your favour (You’ll get that allusion when you finish the list I gave).

Your Bookworm Sister.


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