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Guest writer,  thoughts

Books and Friends by Anushree Prashant

I am an Expat, and a global nomad.  The best part of being a traveler I believe, is that, not only do I get to meet interesting people from all over the world, but through them learn about different cultures, perspectives and attitudes.

I was born in Patna, the capital of Bihar, in India.  I grew up speaking four languages, Bangla, my mother tongue, Hindi and Bhojpuri as they flew around me, and English at school.  Learning Bangla from the comic strips in the Bengali newspapers, sitting on my grandfather’s lap, with his arthritic  finger, as a guide to my blind-folded self,  I learnt about words and the way they help me explore different spaces.  Sitting on the window seats, like Jane Eyre, behind the yellow brocade curtains, in my grandparents’ living room, with books all around me, enveloping me in their fragrance, it seems to me now, time lay trapped between those pages, waiting patiently till I learnt to read and let their magic lose in my life.  Books, that lay in precarious piles on the floor, that ranged the shelves in utter disharmony, some that lay tucked behind, hiding, till I grew to a particular age, old enough to make sense of those worlds.

All my gifts from family and friends, for Birthdays, as well as rewards at school, were books, and over time, I realized that they became my best friends, and  I, became a loner, lost in the world of books, languages and the fascination.

books and friends go together by AliceinParis
books and friends go together by AliceinParis

As a traveler I have learnt to hide my sensitivity under a bland exterior, to forgive and to move on.  I have also learnt to observe and to encapsulate, people, places, ideas, their dreams and desires, all within the pages of a notebook.  As I began to travel, I met people like me, loners, with artificial smiles and a quietly desperate look in their eyes that said that they wanted to be elsewhere, most likely behind black on white pages.  But, I also realized that to grow, to mature, to keep learning one must meet people.

I found them, out looking for more people like them. People who love to read, to get lost in books and spaces around and within,  to explore the boundaries of their personal selves, and there, amongst them, I found the kind of friends I always wanted, whom I could accept them as they are, much as I wanted to be accepted by them too.

It is strange really, that to be a good writer, one must be a good reader, but then again, to write my own stories, I have learnt to be a good listener as well, and to be a more social being.  I have learnt to not speak my mind, to couch my words, such that they do not hurt, to learn to live and let go.  I have learnt to make friends now, outside my books, as real people, with actual happening lives and stories, to add to my collection of books and friends.  I love to listen to people, to me each human being is an experience, a book waiting to be read, and I enjoy weaving their worlds into my poetry and sometimes, their lives into my stories.

As I travel to new places, I gain in experience, but most importantly I now gain in good friends too, in relationships which do not stay imprisoned within the pages of the books I read.  My stories have become animated, with people all over the world, making me a bookmark in their stories, just as they become the magical characters of the narrative I call my life.

I think therefore, in Global Technicolor.

I am grateful to be a wanderer, to set roots down, adapt, explore and uproot myself and move on again.  I am glad to be a rolling stone, a nomad, but mostly, I am happy to have a world full of people I know, linking me to the musical chain of everlasting friendships.

Biography:

Anushree Prashant is a mother, a poet and a feminist.  A traveler by orientation and a writer by choice.  She likes to create real andmagical places for her readers to explore and become a part of. Anushree lives at present in Lagos, Nigeria, and is studying towards her long term wish for a Doctorate in English Literature, and working simultaneously on her collection of poems. Would you like to read more of Anushree hand? Go to:  http://anushreeprashant.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/stamped-alien/

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