Have You Read Charles ‘Dicksen’?

Shravan — my 11-year-old nephew — is my favourite librarian. When I was battling a terrible reading slump, he prescribed quite a few beautiful books. RJ Palacio’s Wonder, Jacqueline Woodson’s Locomotion, Jerry Spinelli’s Maniac Magee, and Stephen Pastis’s Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made. His medicines worked for me. I resumed reading with renewed love.

A couple of days ago, I sent a voice note to Shravan, asking for a recommendation. I am now in one of my greatest reading phases, but it’s been a long while since I discussed books with him, so I asked him to try his magic on me. The boy was nursing a fever. Despite the illness, he replied:

9780141324524Thichi, I haven’t been reading a lot, because I am sick,” he cleared his throat. His voice betrayed the fever. “But I still want to recommend a book. It’s called A Christmas Carol. I heard it’s a lovely book. It’s written by somebody called Charles Dicksen. I think you would love it.”

His innocence filled my heart with love. Just love. So much love.

I responded, “Oh! I haven’t read Charles Dicksen. I am going to do a little research and find out more about the book. Now, you rest well okay, Shravan?”

Maybe, you could argue with me — ‘You should have told him that it’s Dickens, Deepika!’

No. I won’t do that.

I won’t tell him that he had got the name wrong.

I won’t tell him that the book is 174-years-old.

I won’t tell him that I have heard so much about the book and that he should recommend something else.

I won’t kill a child’s joy of discovering new things, even if those discoveries are ancient in my world.

Instead, I would do this:

I will read the book.

I will write to him about the book.

I will wait for him to find out that it’s not Dicksen.

I will then thank myself for being patient and not discouraging a child by robbing off his chances to explore, discover, and work on his oversight by himself.

*smiles and adds Charles Dicksen’s A Christmas Carol to her TBR*

8 thoughts on “Have You Read Charles ‘Dicksen’?

  1. Louvina Andrade November 12, 2017 / 11:35 pm

    You did the absolutely right thing. Including letting him discover the grinch who stole Xmas
    Like I discovered Enid Blyton was racist

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Madhvi Vivek November 15, 2017 / 9:18 am

    I found myself going to varying degrees of โ€˜awwwโ€™ after every line in this piece, Deepika. This is so, so, so beautifully put out! Much love and prayers to your nephew and hope he recovers soon! โค

    Liked by 1 person

  3. whisperinggums November 23, 2017 / 12:02 pm

    There, see, you know exactly what to do! (I had missed this post before – sorry! How great that he is reading Dickens at 10. I know that’s a simpler book than some other Dickens, but it’s still Dickens and not many 10-year-olds would have the patience for that sort of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Deepika Ramesh November 23, 2017 / 12:10 pm

      Thank you! Thank you, Sue. I am going to ask my nephew if we read it in December. I am excited. ๐Ÿ™‚

      And you didn’t miss this post. I use two blogs. This one is called ‘The Zennish Panda’ (I laugh at the name myself!) where I share a few vignettes from my life. ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

      • whisperinggums November 24, 2017 / 2:28 am

        Haha, I didnโ€™t notice the blog name was different. I look forward to hearing about it โ€“ reading the book that is โ€“ if he agrees.

        Liked by 1 person

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