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I, The Reader

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.

– George R.R. Martin

I am a reader. I come from nowhere and everywhere.
From the streets of India, the meadows of France, the slums of Karachi and the craters of mars.
I am nobody and everybody. I am that poor beggar on the street, the grouchy lady beside your house. I am the sick man breathing his last, the lost girl desperate for help, the dreamer banished by society, the lover bound by tradition. I am all around you. I am you.
Each time I pick up a book, I become something different. A painter, a businessman, a monk, a dog, a cat and god knows what else. I have even been God. Each day, I live a different life and die a different death. Each day I gain new desires, new hopes, new fears and pleasures. I have felt the awkwardness of not belonging, the longing for love, the desperation of hunger and the pain of being hurt. I have had my bones broken, my dreams shattered. I have seen loved ones die, seen people change and yet, I have struggled on. I fought in the battle for Troy and have participated inSatyagraha. I have set up industries and factories ,and have worked in them for meager wages. Each life, I learned to be more than just me. I learned to be you, to be she,to be he. I learned to be us.
And this is why I understand you. Your hopes, your dreams, your fears. The expectations you have from society, the despair you feel at times. And this is why I promise you, I will be there. I will support you as a mother, a friend, a lover and a father. I will be the oppressor and the oppressed. All of it for you. I will give voice to your hopes, dispel your fears and help you stand in this world. I promise to stand beside you in your struggle, to guide you. I will teach you the lessons of my life, will encourage you to live them too.
Because then you will see, the similarities between the children in the States and the adults in Emirates. You wouldn’t call one different from the other, instead would love them both as brothers. Start your journey today, my friend. Understand that all of us are the same, me and you, you and me, us.
Pick a book and live a life,
Today, I am Don Juan, will you be my wife?

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