A Newspaper Reading Kid
I started reading newspaper when I was 12. It had a lot of to do with having ‘reading material’ than to enlighten myself with news of the world. As a kid, I had trouble falling asleep. So my parents decided that if I went to bed with a book, I could read myself to sleep. They handed me story books for bed time reading. I don’t really remember how much this reading helped me to fall asleep. What I do remember is the reading streak that began from there. I became the kid who asks for story books as gifts.
The first thing I have done for many years of my life after getting up in the morning is grab the newspaper. Sometimes my parents used to leave the newspaper in my room in the morning. We keep the Bangla daily ‘Prothom Alo’ at our house. Every year on its anniversary, the newspaper changes designs. Every year on Eid, there is a special Eid magazine. During football and cricket world cups, there are four extra pages dedicated to the news of the events. All these years of reading Prothom Alo has probably made me biased toward it. Few years ago, I got to visit Prothom Alo office for an university project and that one visit remains the highlight of all my university project related visits.
So, newspapers! What are they like? As the name suggests, there is a lot of news. Some shocking, some surprising, some calming. But mostly outrageous.
My most read section was the sports section. It is this section which turned me into a Real Madrid fan and also inspired me to try out sports blogging. Back in mid 2000s we didn’t have 24/7 internet, so newspaper was my source of sports news. My next most read page was the entertainment section. I read all the daily interviews, no matter who the artist was. This is a classic example of a voracious reader. The newspaper was my daily source of new reading material.
I learnt about drug addicts and the stories of their family. I think reading features of these families whose lives were devastated because of drugs instilled in me an abhorrence towards substance usage. I became politically aware, even to the point where I knew stories of minor district politics. As I got older, the editorial section caught my interest. Ah, learnt people writing down their thought regarding current events. Many of the editorials were humorous but didn’t digress from the topic in question. Although I did skip reading many of the pieces which got too serious. Reports about notable incidents that happened in metro cities sometimes got cliched, though.
From Prothom Alo’s ‘Chutir Din’ magazine, I learnt about so many of the famous people in Bangladesh including Ila Mitra and Satyajit Ray. This one time in school my Bangla language teacher printed a passage from ‘Chutir Din’ for a test. I aced the test because I had read the passage few days before. ‘Alpin’ made me laugh out loud. ‘Shahittyo Shamoyiki’ has been the highlight of many of my Fridays.
I started reading newspapers merely to quench my thirst for reading. But as I kept at it, it became a habit; asking for the newspaper every holiday morning or after getting back from school. It became a habit to the point that if someday, I had been too busy to read the newspaper, I would keep the paper in my room to read later.