I remember the days of happy reading from the library in Ooty. Not the private one mind you.
It’s dusty racks filled with classics ranging from Tolstoy to Dickens and Dumas. As far as I can remember I got to read the best literature available, it’s just like yesterday when father used to bring home the Saturday kids section of the popular Indian English newspaper. I read about rockets and nuclear fusion at age when I should have been coloring the outlines there. I didn’t know if dad could afford books for me. Mom always made reservations to buy me books sacrificing a lot(now I realize).
She got me a membership at the library, where I enjoyed, if I remember correctly the joys of the Robinson Crusoe.
While this was going on I had to experience the side effects of loving your academic subjects(Ranking). Though it matters very less to me this day, it opened up a plethora of opportunities for me to read more: dad used to buy me more books as a reward, school used to present novels in the range of Hardy(though I admit it was a tad too much at that time).
I used to ace the exams, all courtesies to the magnificent teachers at Breeks who simply infuse upon you the quest for learning. I would call it more as a journey than as a destination, for even to this day they remind of the splendor of being more knowledgeable. Again, mind you, not wise. As I later discovered knowledge is one thing wisdom another. Wisdom as in my case comes from errors in judgment, repeated I confess, in certain cases.
My reading/learning of the contemporary writers was primarily from the prescribed textbook. I was awed at the magnificence of Coleridge and Vikram Seth alike. Dickens was paramount in getting us to experience the English way of thinking. It was not until I was in college that I read contemporaries.
Math was my low point, logic was my high when I put both of them together I ended up finding them not that different, I dare say this day that I was not bad in Math as I once thought. History and Geography was subject of great delight to us(seriously) it gave us the opportunity to look beyond our immediate horizons(time/space alike)
Learning how dumb computers were from an ancient book from my father’s company gave me a headstart in excelling writing code for it(the journey still continues till this day, as is the case with anyone), it deserves a separate post in itself to do it proper justice.
I fear not many would have read another common children’ magazine Gokulam, it was my first window to read variety. Now it’s just a long lost friend to me. I got my first article about woodpeckers published there. It was not an original but an adaptation of how woodpeckers take care of their young which I found to be interesting. Since then I publish stuff just here.
Coming back to the library I remember reading a lot about psychology. While it didn’t make much sense at that time, it later proved to be worth the trouble. I still remember reading(looking) the series of book named Man Watching that basically discerned the notion of how humans think/act.
On the same note as many of my friends wonder how I got to computers while thinking in terms of biologist/naturalist. One prominent reason was that I needed to learn more about biology before I got into computers(as unlike many I had already decided on computers/electronics as my future). The challenges and the equivalent joys in learning biology was equal to comp sci in my case. I needed that extra knowledge to understand the world around me.
I hated to miss out all the goodness of that particular branch of science if I had delved into computer science in my higher secondary. And also the syllabus for comp sci at that class was crap, I needed more.
Darwinian thinking got me into more profound thinking spree. I was overwhelmed by the history of the planet and the like that inspires many today. I’m glad to say I’m still discovering them today, unlike many who would have forgotten that part of their learning or more rightly ignored it as blasphemous(no offence meant those who still read KJV, gita or others in the same vein)
Lost track of the feel will complete some other time