Tinkle twinkles my way

By: T S Haokip ( First published in The Sangai Express 6/12/2019 )
“Tinkle taught me how to read and write and my father taught me how to read TINKLE.”
I was in my 3rd standard when my father first bought me a copy of Tinkle digest, a comic book for children. I read it regularly including other similar books like Archies, Mandrake, Phantom until my father introduced #Teenager, wisdom and #sportstar magazines. I had a collection of comic books which was duly locked as my older siblings would read it and LOST It😁. I vividly remember my father arriving from his tours with a copy of #Tinkle almost always. My best birthday gifts would be a set of Tinkle comic books; a pack of Fortnightly, monthly and special edition. I was fortunate to have access to many short stories of biblical books too. My father was a man who loves literary works and I could picturise him reading even as I write this small write up now.
The craze to read books and novels in my latter life is all due to Tinkle. Tinkle also is the reason for my first writings ( Extra curriculum). I had as an eight-year-old boy sent a story to Tinkle. It was a translation of one Kuki folktale. They did not print my story but I received stickers of comic characters and was encouraged to continue writing. I kept writing but never sent anymore. I am repriducing one such piece I wrote for “It happened to me”, which is a section in Tinkle where readers share their rea-life interesting stories.
It goes as, “Thangboi!!! Thangboi!!! People were screaming out my name. Bryan Adam concert seems to be taken over by me. For the last song, Bryan Adam chose the hit title ‘everything I do’. It is this song that has shaped my musical inclinations in my early teens. The song being solo-specific, I decided to give the centre stage to the man of the night, the reason why people bought tickets and I bought a ticket. As I walk down the podium, Mr. Adam called up and insisted I too join him. As we sang the solo song, the crowds cheered Thangboi!, Thangboi! and the voice grew louder. Suddenly someone pushed me from behind, as I take the slowest turn, my mother screamed ‘wake up it is almost 9am’ You will be late for your class.”
Uncle Pai/ Anant Pai, Andheri East, Mumbai was an address I remembered since my 3rd standard. I, in no way, consider myself a good writer, but whatever little I could write today is largely due to my love for reading, inculcated by my father with #Tinkle,

‘What is then that our children should read that could best inculcate reading and writing habits? How relevant is reading and writing in today’s world of gadgets and electronics?’ are some concerning questions. Reading and Writing paper books can become history. But reading and writing will still form the backbone of education. Only the medium will differ. Today we have e-books to read and we hardly use pen to write. Reading and writing have been to some extent replaced by listening and viewing, pictures and videos. Be that as it may, it is words that we read and wrote earlier and it is words that will remain written and read. Only the medium will differ. Falling in love with words is the way forward.

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