I got glasses at age nine because of a comment my dad made offhandedly: “your face is so close to your books when you read.” Before I knew it, the optician had diagnosed me with nearsightedness (was it a foregone conclusion?) and slapped me with -0.50-powered glasses that gave me headaches. Already an uber-geek, I became even more the odd one out as one of the few nine-year-olds in third grade who wore glasses. I was chubby, had terrible fashion sense, and now this: glasses.
It somehow felt like the right punishment — after all, I did read a lot. And watch a lot of television — mainly Padma Lakshmi and Gale Gand on Food Network or Jeopardy! or Indian soap operas back when they were good, pre-Ekta Kapoor’s reign.
While most kids my age were playing outside at the park, I spent my time indoors, lying down on my living room sofa, reading. Each summer, I would get through over a hundred books — to the point where the Queens Public Library librarian thought I was lying.
I dreamt that maybe — finally — these glasses would afford me some superpowers. I wouldn’t just be that weirdo who spent her free periods at the library, that person who read the then Harry Potter trilogy before it was cool. I was so stuck in the worlds of the novels I read, that instead of writing a diary of what had happened to me that day, I wrote about my characters. Hermione made sense — a girl with a weird name no one could pronounce, who loved school, who’d much rather hang out with drama-free boys than the girls who seemed gossipy.
As I grew older and went off to college, I dove more into readings dictated by my t
The Juggernaut tells untold, smart South Asian stories and news you won't find anywhere else.
It’s like your other email briefings. But browner. Join thousands and get the newsletter that curates the best global news on South Asia(ns) every Sunday. We also send updates on events, giveaways, our original reporting, and more. Unsubscribe anytime.