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I remember being blown away when I read Mark Twain’s most popular book “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” for the first time. Back then I was in sixth grade. I was impressed, at once. It had such a huge impact in my life that it’s hard to zero in on just one significant area.

I had this queer habit of wearing skins of protagonists that I would become them. I remember collecting petty things like nails, pebbles, marbles, chewing gum wrappers, safety pins and strings, for the sake of trading them during desperate times, just like Tom would. Unfortunately I wasn’t that smart! I couldn’t coax even a mosquito into biting me. Also no one cared for the trivial things in my pocket.

Thomas meant trouble. So would I think in my little head, if someone called me by my full name it would insinuate trouble too. But that would rarely happen. I kept waiting for someone to call me by my full name, but people barely remembered to care. Also, I was probably the only one around smitten by the boy’s life, I think.

Becky Thatcher wasn’t just Tom’s love life. She was mine too. I remember putting a face to my image of Becky. I was new in the school and there was this girl who was the custodian of the class. She wasn’t that pretty, but in my head she was. I imagined Becky to be just like her. She would stand minding her own business, and I would read her expressions closely wondering if Becky would say something like that to Tom, or if Becky was pissed she would make faces like that! Mark Twain was the first writer to have successfully stirred up the absent emotional quotient in my heart. I barely matched anyone’s frequency then. Also it felt like a dud idea to feel for a wall that doesn’t hug you back.

There were some enemy elements to the endearing Tom’s tale which made the story enthralling, but the part with Becky in it appealed to me the most. I would at once subconsciously enter the ecstasy zone, and silently wish them both good. I would remain in that eternal rapture until of course the fun lasted.

When I was done with the book, I reread it just to feel my goosebumps again. I remember reading it a couple of times to relive every bit of it. I remember wishing every inscribed memory undone, so that reading it would be unparalleled fun all over again.

Sometimes I wish if that could be applied to every feeling we encounter for the first time. The first of everything walks in with a titillating head. The thrill, the excitement that it packs in is unmatched, which wanes as it gets reiterated.

Just the thought of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” hauls me back in time, and compels me to think about how exhilarating the whole experience was.

I wish to walk in a story like Tom’s adventure. Sometimes I wish to be like words in a story. But then again, aren’t I already?

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