As a child growing up, I was deeply enthralled by the concept of magic lands, fairies, fantasy worlds, brownies, pixies, flying chairs, faraway trees and the likes. In fact, if I was given the chance to either inhabit the world of Mowgli (of Jungle Book fame) or that of Alice (of Wonderland fame), I would, with no doubt in my head, pick the universe created by Lewis Carroll over Rudyard Kipling. That doesn’t mean that I think Carroll betters Kipling in any respect. Both were exemplary writers, drawing readers of all ages into the beautiful make-believe worlds they created.
My preference is just based on one fact: as a child, I could much more emphathise with Alice than Mowgli. Alice was shy, hesitant, unsure, curious, bewildered, but always very polite—all the things I was as a child and maybe still am, except maybe for the polite part! Mowgli, on the other hand, was confident, daring, enterprising, witty and very, very cheeky—all qualities I lacked as a child and maybe still do.
And then as with all magical things, the effect of the spell got over and I was thrust face-first into the real world. Adulthood didn’t give me the chance or space to channel my inner Alice. It expected me to be Mowgli. Needless to say, I failed. But pretty soon, I found a way to “fit in”. I realised that I could fool anybody by faking it. So I put on this facade of being “adult” accompanied by its differentiators: I became street-smart, witty, enterprising and confident. Soon enough, I had the world eating out of my hands. Or on a more serious note, let’s just say I wasn’t the odd man out any more. Hurrah!
But inside and with people who loved me I was Alice, not Mowgli.
The whole point of this very, very interesting story is that now you, my dear reader, have the privilege of knowing both the Alice and Mowgli in me through this space. Let me assure you, it’s a huge honour. So revel in it and do drop by. Please 😃
PS: Want to ask me something? Or tell me something? I wish I could give you my phone number, but since I press ‘mute’ on more calls than I receive (I hate talking on the phone), I think it would be a better idea if you were to email me on: