I have taken many vacations in my life. But the one that's imprinted in my memory is the summer vacations after my 10th standard boards. Though I have been a reader all my life, there came a reading slump during my high school years due to lack of libraries and the scarcity of books in my life. My reading for these few years were limited to the Harry Potter books that I read as soon as it came out, which was once in a blue moon. But that was about it. The various tuition classes and the board examinations and vast syllabus left me with little time to devote to my first love.
So when I got a long break after my exams, we went back home and this was when I rediscovered my love for reading with a flourish. This was the year I discovered Sidney Sheldon; a startling difference from the books that I was used to till then. These were labelled as 'grown up' books, meaning they had plenty of thrill that kept me up late nights devouring book after book. I still remember my first Sidney Sheldon book, The Other Side of Midnight. I was so in awe that I went and bought all his books that I could get my hands on.
Now, these are books that deal with sex, murder, betrayal and what not. For the hormone filled, rebelling teenager that I was, these were my staple diet. The heroines of Sheldon's novel reveled in their sexuality, they did not shy away from desires; they were spunky and real (it was for me then). And just like the regular teenager, when I was admonished for reading these books, I made sure I read more of it. I also read The Da Vince Code and all of Dan Brown's books. It so happens to be a book fetish of mine- if I discover and love a new author, I kind of go overboard and try to read all their books. Yes, that was one adventurous vacation!
The impact these books made me on was tremendous. I discovered a genre that I'm hooked to even today - thrillers. Crime, murder, mystery set against dangerous backdrops. But my most favorite among the lot are psychological thrillers. Gone girl, The Girl on the Train, Tell me your Dreams are among the few that top my list. Even today, when I'm stressed, I prefer to get lost in a world where the author dwells into the psyche of characters and it's easy for me to forget all my worries and just get lost in their world.
And when I took to writing, this was a genre that I wanted to explore as well. I tried my hand at writing a few short stories and I'm still trying to get the hang of it. Though being far from perfect, I try to be a better writer with each word I create. Today, for some reason, I felt like writing about the books that have impacted me as a person. At the risk of being labelled a psycho, I continue to dwell into the minds of complicated characters. I have come to a better understanding of people and that they are not all good or bad, that sometimes even good people can do bad things. It's just a matter of perspective.