By Bibhuti Dash author of ‘Police in Blunderland’
When my younger daughter was around six/seven years old and learning to construct words, I used to read stories from books to her at bedtime. As I had done at her age, she liked Treasure Island, and I used to read a few pages of an abridged version every day in the evening before she nodded off to sleep. Unfortunately, it was limited to only a few pages of reading every day as I was in a hectic job at that time and used to come home exhausted.
There was a about a week or two when I missed the reading sessions due to work-related travel and I, truly, missed reading to her. I had dog-eared the book where I had last read to her and, after that hiatus, tried to resume from there. To this, she replied that there was no need. Since she was desperate to know what all happened, she toiled through it and had finished reading the book herself. I didn’t believe it. However, when I quizzed her about some of the key events, she knew it all backwards! Within those few days, her verbal abilities and her mental faculties had taken several leaps!
Kids don’t remain kids forever. Precocious kids grow up even faster. Well, my daughter is now a 23-year-old bright young lady, a gold medalist from IIT, Gandhinagar, pursuing a PhD at UCLA, USA. Other bonds between us might have seen ups and downs, but whenever we meet or talk, books are where we find the greatest commonality and constancy. Thank you, Treasure Island. Thank you, Mr. Robert Louis Stevenson, wherever you are.