(The below article is an English translation of my writing which got published in The Hindu (Tamil) on 06/06/2016. To read the original article, go here: காபுலிவாலா தந்த உலகம் )
I was never strapped to a bed for a long time of twenty days before, not in that way. My parents had feared that I was down with malaria and I was stay put to a bed with a warning that I should not exert myself more physically. Although my arms were numb with tiredness and body with ache, my mind remained as free as always. The oppressive boredom of the loneliness caused by my fever made me to notice the sprawling presence of books on the shelves of my room. I had always looked at them before, even cleaned and dusted them off regularly. But, for the first time, I had time to notice them. I pulled open a book with a majestic spine which had a calm peaceful face of a man with a beard, and when I finished reading it, I had tears rolling down my eyes. The book is ‘Selected Short Stories of Rabindranath Tagore’, and the story I read that day was ‘Kabuliwala’. I don’t know what caused me the long fever but I remember that the bug of reading had infected me from then on. I was fourteen only, then.