In this essay, Essam M. Al-Jassim takes us through his journey of discovering Indian Fiction as an Arab and how it shaped him as a writer.
Moving is a transformative experience for a child, bringing about significant changes in their life. Unlike adults, who often relocate for specific reasons and with clear objectives in mind, children face the task of leaving behind familiar people and places without fully understanding the reasons behind them. It was especially more challenging in the past, when mobile phones were not yet a thing, nor was social media, to keep them connected to familiar people and surroundings.
Starting afresh is a challenging endeavor for anyone, and I found myself navigating this unfamiliar terrain with little support from others. Our new home, nestled in an unfamiliar area, allowed me to forge new friendships with kids my age, which eased my transition.
Each of my new-found companions possessed unique qualities or traits that made them stand out in my life. However, amidst this motley group, one individual captured my attention due to the profound impact of his hobby. This friend had an intriguing fascination for Indian movies subtitled in Arabic, introducing me to the expansive universe of Indian cinema.