Three amazing events happened today. Here are they in chronological order:
1. In class today, a girl said to the teacher that her favourite book was “The Fault In Our Stars”.
That’s it actually.
I didn’t get a chance to talk to her or anything, but I would’ve loved to.
2. While I was leaving college, I happened to notice this girl who was wearing a violet T-shirt that said “It’s Leviösa”
Of course I talked to her.
(I’m quoting everything verbatim now)
I :”Are you a Potterhead?”
She: “Yeah!!” *With a wide grin*
I : “Oh my God! And your T-shirt!!” *wide grin, ob-viously*
She: Yes!!!! Hey I have a project submission or I swear I’d be all over you… :(”
(My stupid college with its stupid submissions! One more reason to hate it now!)
And I kid you not, she did say “I’d be all over you” But I’m sure she meant it like a puppy who would be all over a bone, or a kid over a new present or a Potterhead would be after meeting another Potterhead and not any other way you might think of.
3. On the train that I took while coming back, there was a girl who was reading Looking For Alaska (I’d know the cover anywhere!). I couldn’t talk to her just then, she was too far away but when we got down I talked to her for two minutes and found out that it was her first John Green book and she was planning to read The Fault In Our Stars next. And no, she hadn’t read Harry Potter- I asked.
When something like this happened earlier (which was very very rare) I used to think that I got excited about meeting Potterheads because I didn’t know many.
I have, like, more than 20 Potterhead friends. And almost an equal number of friends who have read TFiOS and other John Green books.
Still I get the same level of excited (if not more).
Then I realized that this has nothing to do with how many people I already know.
It has a lot to do with knowing that there are so many people out there who are completely awesome. That they are, knowingly or unknowingly, helping to decrease WorldSuck.
I live in a country where even literacy (yes, I mean the the ability to read and write) is very low and reading for the sake of reading is not exactly encouraged.
So this is some real good progress.
‘Sure’, you’ll say, ‘you go to a good college where only smart students get admitted. And the girl on the train probably goes to a similar college. How does that have any connection to the literacy levels of your country? You only know about the literate people!’
Yes that is true.
Happening to meet a few people who read my favourite books might not have anything to do with the progress of our nation as a whole.
But I like to believe, and to some extent it is true, that when people read for pleasure and not only because they have to, they become smarter and more aware of their surroundings, their rights, and more than anything, they start setting some ideals for themselves, some moral values which they abide by.
A small example would be: littering.
A little kid who knows nothing might look at all the garbage that’s already there on the streets and throw in his chocolate wrapper as well.
But if his mother is a smart lady (and I’m assuming she is smart because she reads) who knows and cares about the environment, she will stop him from doing so and explain about why should or should not be doing certain things.
I know I went horribly off-topic (I actually started out with the goal to tell you all how happy I am about those three incidents) but I’m trying to convey something that even I can’t quite put into words.
I myself believe that everything comes down to literacy and more than that, reading. Why would I not? The number of people my age I meet everyday, and the ones who don’t read are such idiots- and I don’t just mean it because they don’t know grammar! They are just really dumb people who don’t know anything about anything- and have a huge ego to go along with that!
On the other hand, people who read are modest, resourceful and intelligent and know what the really important stuff is.
So of course these things give me hope.
Am I being naïve here?
P.S. For what it’s worth, when the teacher asked me about my favourite book, I said Harry Potter and TFiOS too. And she asked me to tell her about TFiOS and I did! 😀
And she didn’t ask about Harry Potter. That’s another thing I’d like to talk about one day: All my English teachers’ hatred (or indifference) towards Harry Potter.
Are they even fit to be English teachers if they don’t acknowledge the awesomeness of the series of books which defined an era???