Hey, guys! I am Milind Lal and I am here to take you on a decade’s worth of journey over the next few paragraphs.

I am 20 now. However, as I glance back at the last 10-12 years of my life, I find that books have played a major role in making me the person I am. Well, it all began one fine summer, when I and my family were traveling to our hometown. Given that it is an arduous, two-day trip, my dad bought me two comics so I did not get bored in the train. You see, a single, introverted child like me needed something to kill time.

Anyways, the comics were none other than Tinkle and Champak. Once I began reading, it became something of an addiction. In fact, I would go so far as to label comics as a gold mine for kids. My dad would even get me their monthly subscription later on.

As I grew older, my preferences transitioned from comics to story books and then to novels. Thrillers, mystery and horror became my favorite genres. I would also read romantic novellas every now and then. From Sudha Murthy to Enid Blyton, I read any book I could get my hands on. That said, of all writers, Sudha Murthy’s works had the most profound impact on me as a young reader.

I and my parents often used to visit bookstores and get second-hand books in bulk. We would purchase them at half price, and then return them for half that price. There was never a day when I went to bed without reading something. Those days, I even had a library card issued in my name at school. I would often borrow the Goosebumps series from there. Another series I feel is worth mentioning here is Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five.

I recall one incident here. I was traveling from Mumbai to Pune and was done reading the novel I had bought myself at the start of that journey. The old lady sitting in front of me was so impressed that she complimented me on how she had never seen someone my age read so much in one sitting. She told me that it was a good habit and that I needed to keep it up.

Reading has helped Milind Lal discover his true calling: writing

I feel that reading is not just an activity or hobby; it is rather a journey through a myriad of emotions, experiences and incidents. You get to learn about so many new things, people, cultures and worlds, all without having to go anywhere. Reading has inspired me so much that I now dream about publishing my own novel someday. I do have some ideas to fulfill this dream of mine. Only time will tell if they were worth a shot. Until then, happy reading!

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