We had just moved to an unknown place. Being an introverted kid, I hardly ever spoke to strangers. Besides, despite my apparent gift for memorizing stuff, I wasn’t really fond of studying for exams. I was more into outdoor sports.

A year later, as tenth grade beckoned, my father’s best friend advised him to get me enrolled at a nearby coaching institute. Little did I know that this decision would change my life forever.

You see, I had friends who used to go to those classes. They always told me about this teacher who didn’t allow anyone to speak in any language but English. My first day at the institute was a rather uneventful one. I hardly uttered a word!

A week later, there was a new girl in our batch. She was an avid reader. Before long, she became our batch’s topper. Her zeal to read made me consider doing so as well. Now, I must admit that it was a real pain in the beginning; I had to basically force myself to read. However, it soon became a habit. Miraculously, this habit coincided with a steep improvement in my grades. In fact, my performance in the Boards was nothing less than remarkable.

My newfound reading habit meant that not only was I confident in tests and exams, but could also fearlessly communicate with others. My good academic performance translated into me getting a good college, too. For someone who could barely string together a couple of sentences with strangers, I was now in charge of a public speaking group at college. And I owe all of these incredible changes to books.


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