Books have always been my partners in crime. If I had to describe their place in my life using a hashtag in this social media-obsessed world, it would be #myconstant.

Garima Batra with her mother

I owe this love for books to my mother, who was the one responsible for bringing them into my life. Having been an avid reader herself, she would often get the toddler me a good number of children’s storybooks. The interesting thing here is that, unlike most other parents, she made me read books with plain English text – without any fancy pictures. The result? Even before I had started going to the primary school, I could already speak and understand basic English. Patiently reading out those books to me, she prepared me for a seamless admission process.

One of the fondest memories I have of my childhood is asking my parents to buy me a storybook after I scored 90% in the second grade. I still happen to have it in my collection. In case you are wondering about it, yes, I have a very personalized collection of books. An entire shelf in my cupboard is dedicated exclusively to them.

My love for reading kept increasing with each passing year. I could read anything and everything. All I needed was a book. Back in school, I would eagerly wait for the library period and would get a new book issued every week. When I was a teenager, my mother started taking me to the annual book fair held in Delhi’s Pragati Maidan. It goes without saying that I always came back with my hands full.

Even in this age of Kindle and e-books, I have always preferred having a hardcover or a paperback. The blissful feeling of holding a book in your hands, soaking in the fragrance of a new issue, and the magnificent joy of adding it to your collection are simply out of this world. They are my most cherished possessions, nay assets! Even to this day, you will always find a novel in my handbag. That’s right, always.

What was inculcated as an early habit in Garima has gone on to become her most preferred pastime

Books have not only opened new doors of knowledge for me, but have also taught me many a life lesson. They have made me cry, smile, laugh, and experience a myriad of emotions. However, more than anything else, they have motivated me to become a better person every day. I feel that reading has therapeutic properties; it is my stress buster, a supplement for my soul and, of course, my trustworthy companion.

I have been plagued by serious health issues for quite some time now. My condition was critical and the improvement was negligible at best, if any at all. Even during such depressing times, there were a couple of books that led to a paradigm shift in my increasingly pessimist attitude toward life.

One of them was Preeti Shenoy’s Life is What You Make It, the other being You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay, which was a gift from my cousin. While the former chronicled the author’s struggle with her bipolar disorder, Louise Hay, in her book, stressed the importance of self-love, self-acceptance, optimism and health. She drove home the point that any illness can be cured by changing our perspective on life and the people around us, emphasizing the sublime virtues of forgetting and forgiving.

Garima Batra was greatly aided by books as she recovered from a depressing ailment

Books, and these two in particular, helped me recover and gave me the strength to face and overcome challenges. They transformed my perception of life. And, in all honesty, I have started feeling more energetic and happy ever since I started reading again in the wake of my illness. I have been constantly regaining both my physical and mental health.

Reading is a healthy addiction. As the clichéd saying goes, it is never too late. So, please do grab a copy and embark on your own binge-reading adventure. (Wink, wink)

A NOTE TO OUR READERS

To know more about Garima, make sure to get in touch with her over her Facebook and Instagram handles.

If you too are an Indian reader with a story to tell, we are all ears. Getting your story published on Ameya is pretty straightforward, actually. Just click on the button below, fill in the applicable fields and start typing. Once you are done, hit ‘submit’. If you don’t quite fancy the idea of filling random contact forms on the Internet, relax – we’ve got all bases covered! You can simply email your story to us at support@booksameya.in. Once we’ve received your story, our team will get in touch with you and apprise you of its publishing status. Yes, it’s that simple!

Advertisements