I was at a cousin’s place for Diwali. Since I just dreaded the din produced by the fireworks, I  locked myself inside the room. Out of boredom, I started to rummage around all the drawers and cupboards, but was unable to find anything interesting.

Just then, something caught my attention. No, it nearly drew me toward itself. Out of a pile of books lying on the study table, I went through the cover of that one alluring book. It read The Alchemist. That’s when I thought to myself, “Wait a second! What’s that? I’ve never heard of that word before!”

A curiosity to cherish

I casually skimmed over the first page, and then the next, and then the next. I was soon on page 40. For someone who abhorred reading, going through 40 pages in one go was a big deal. I convinced my cousin to lend me that book. The following day, it took me just 6 hours to read through it.

As most of you would already know, the book emphatically drives home the importance of listening to our hearts and pursuing our dreams. It related the story of a person who spent years chasing after the immense wealth inside the pyramids, only to find out that the treasure lay right beneath the place he lived at. Whilst subtle, the message instantly resonated through my mind.

True wealth lies inside our hearts. We spend a lifetime running after money and happiness. We try to look for that in the world. But the truth is, it lies inside of us.

A newfound conviction

The feeling that I got from reading just this one book was so priceless and overwhelming that I promised myself to do anything it took to get that feeling back. This prompted me to read more. I explored every genre, from fiction to business, from history to philosophy, from science to biographies. My curiosity lead me down the paths I had never dreamed I would tread.

To sum up, the satisfaction that comes from reading a book is an end in itself. Books offer us an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and the world around us, and that is one of the many reasons why they are our best friends.

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