As a proactive kid, I was always curious about giving new things a try. I loved sports, music, traveling, swimming and – quite surprisingly for someone my age – studying as well. I started learning the tabla, which is an Indian percussion instrument, and gradually, I had not only started playing it well, but was also running a YouTube channel. In short, I was doing everything except reading. That was the one area I need to look into and explore.

One fine day, I was at a friend’s place and we were having a sociopolitical discussion that all but seemed to defy our age (after all, we were just 14 at that time!) and, of course, logic. His father joined in and threw more light on those issues for well over an hour. Highly impressed and intrigued, I was captivated by a desire to know more. He suggested me to read a few magazines. In fact, he showed me around his personal library, which, mind you, would have put the best of libraries to shame – purely by the sheer quantity and variety of books it had. I picked up a random magazine titled Safari and my imagination started to soar high. I had the most enthralling time reading all those jaw-dropping stories, anecdotes and science facts. So then, my voyage in the world of books had finally started!

During my school days, all my attempts at reading non-academic books had proven to be futile. However, I had ample time on my hands. The first novel I read was Amish Tripathi’s Immortals of Meluha. There was no turning back after that. I finished the Trilogy within a couple of weeks. The more I read, the better my vocabulary became. That improvement was there for me (and everyone else) to see; reading had actually ameliorated my communication skills.

Dhruval's collection of books
Dhruval’s small but impressive book collection

I read a few historical and mythical books before visiting a religious monument in Gujarat. Thanks to the things I had read over the last few days, I was able to tell people about the historical significance of that place!

Reading is food to our imagination. I have an endlessly long list of to-read books. After all my fabulous experiences with life in general and reading in particular, I would prefer reading about something on my own rather than laying the foundation of my thoughts on hearsay. Isn’t that how it should be, anyway?

Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us, Dhruval!

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