A book is the best gift that you can give yourself. It cheers you up on a gloomy day, takes you to places without even moving your feet, and stays with you forever. And if you go back to it after a long time, the pleasure derived from it will always be there.
My friendship with books started when as a child, my father gave me a booklet to read. It was a small book titled “Hasti Duniya (Smiling World)” which arrived every month, full of short stories and articles for children. And being a voracious reader, I would savour the entire booklet on the day it arrived and then wait for the other one to arrive the next month. Thus, unknowingly a bond of friendship was formed.
Further, on shifting to a new city for job and career, books became my only companions. Perhaps, they offered me solace and a warm company in the lonely room. Or maybe, through them I felt connected to my dad, who introduced me to the world of books. Be it the story of Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, or the poems by Robert Frost, Wordsworth, or the mighty Julius Caesar, we discussed everything and anything related to books and literature. In fact, whenever I find a scribble or a note while flipping through the pages of my dad’s old books, I feel like catching a glimpse of his life, of the times when I wasn’t there. Thus, literature and books always keep me connected to my childhood memories and my dad. Maybe, this is the reason that I chose to pursue Master’s in English, despite being an engineering graduate and a software tester by profession. And, even today I discuss every book I read with my dad.
Every book you read opens a new world, a new perspective, and a new dimension. Through The Secret, I learnt to be grateful and count my blessings. The tales of Ruskin Bond made me believe in love, friendship, and hope. With Meluhas came the realisation that our karma defines who we are. These days with Midnight’s Children, I am learning that life is unjust and unfair most of the times. And the best part is when sometimes you hear your own thoughts echoed in the pages of book. It makes you realise that somewhere in this universe, someone else too shares your thoughts and emotions. As if, you have found a long lost companion. And then you are no longer alone.
Indeed, I was mesmerized by the worlds they offered me. Sometimes I admired the beauty of the language and marvelled at the author’s style and imagination. Sometimes I felt like one of the characters as well. For example, I was an adventurer, riding with Harry Potter and Ron Weasley in their flying car, a vagrant walking in the valleys with Ruskin Bond, or a refuge entering the land of Meluhas led by Shiva. Strange is the feeling that lingers on when you finish reading a good book. And strange is the happiness when you discuss a book you read with your friend or your dad. As if, someone has touched your soul and you didn’t even realise it!
Just like friends, they help you avoid unwanted company and attention. I often read while travelling. It helps me avoid the unnecessary queries of the fellow passengers. I think people assume that book readers are serious people and deliberately avoid them. But sometimes they get curious as well. Once at the end of my train journey, a lady questioned me whether I was preparing for IAS examinations? Surprised, I asked “Why?” And she said, “You were studying throughout the journey”. I was just busy reading Amish’s Shiva Trilogy and wondered if it is in the course of IAS exams. Perhaps, then I should go for it 😛
With the passage of time, new trends have come up in reading such as the ebooks, Kindle, or audio books. However, I prefer the old way. For none can surpass the pleasure, when you hold a book in your hands or on your lap, or fall asleep reading, cuddling a book in your arms!
So let us take a book and ride through the wonderland 🙂