For the longest of time, I remember a little ten year old, in her favorite book shop, browsing through the titles of encyclopedias, thinking hard, on which she wanted.
For the longest of time, I remember her, watching her father pay almost a sum of 5000 rupees, for all that she had chosen. She loved her dad and she couldn’t wait to get home.
For the longest of time, I remember her setting up her first library in the little room that she had, carefully arranging them in categories.
For the longest of time, I remember her sitting with a book and a cup of fruit yogurt after lunch, wrapped in her blanket, the afternoon sun shining through the sole window to her right. She would read for half an hour and then take her nap.
For the longest of time, I remember, there was this one poster which she had found in a magazine, that inspired her to get going during her school days – the poster of a girl with a graduation cap.
For the longest of time, I remember, even when she lost the will to read and learn somewhere down the lane, she watched her treasured books waiting, not knowing how she had walked so far away.
For the longest of time, I remember, she would buy and buy, all that she wanted to know about, with all that she could afford, with the hope that she would come back again, to the world that she never realized that she had chosen to chase.
For the longest of time, I remember her standing in front of it all, her little space, that made her feel belonged, that made her feel herself.
For the longest of time, I remember and now realize, that it has always been the light of ilm (knowledge) that kept her going. Even when she feels burdened by all that she wants to know, all that she wants to read, tired of telling her heart, that she needs to take it slow, there is a light now, so clear, beckoning her, like it used to.
I now feel like her, this girl who I have remembered for the longest of time.