My parents put me in a boarding school when I was seven. In a city which was at least 1500 kilometres from where they stayed. Where people spoke a language I didn’t understand. Mother had done a great job on convincing me about how it would be a ‘fun experience’ and bribed me with several new storybooks and a pair of roller skates.
“She didn’t even cry once,” she would beam proudly and tell people, every time she recalled the time they left me at that school. And quiet honestly, I did have an interesting time at the boarding school and the storybooks helped. And we had a library period thrice a week. I was thrilled! My older school did not have one.
When I look back now, that’s where my love for stories grew manifold. And not just stories told in books, but oral stories, of all those children around me, who loved to tell tales of their own. I remember how on the weekends, we would all sit together, and the older students would take turns to spin yarns. Horror stories were the toast of our little circle. Stories about how the school used to be a burial ground, or how our watchman was almost enticed and murdered by a demon-woman, or how the second floor of our hostel was haunted. (Nobody stayed on the second floor, there weren’t enough students.)
Soon enough, when we ran out of stories, we started making them up. And then, a year later, I changed schools. My parents took me back to the state they were in, enrolled me in a boarding school that was just three hours away. And gosh, how I despised that place. But books kept me going in the new boarding school. And somehow I managed to convince my parents to get me out of there. So a year later, I was in a new school again, where I finally found ‘my people’ and stayed on for the next six years.
So why am I talking about all this?
Well, an old school friend, who I haven’t spoken to in 14 years, got in touch and told me she was buying both my books. And she left me a really sweet message.
Class 7 was when we were 12. Gosh, so long ago. I had almost forgotten about all the horror tales I used to make up. And all those memories came flooding back, when we used to finish our dinner quickly, and then huddle up under a dimly lit light and then I would tell them weird horror stories, all cooked up! Good old days.
Well, anyway, if you like reading general fiction, please get a copy of my second book ‘Love, Loss, Lockdown’. It’s a short story collection loosely set against the Covid19 pandemic in India.
And if you get the book, do leave a rating/review, it means a lot to independent authors like me. Following are some links –
If I’ve missed your country, look for it on Amazon or on your kindle store.