Hey, everyone! This is Nipun Mehrotra. I would like to share my story on how I fell in love with books and how they helped me during the tough times. However, things hadn’t always been like that; I wasn’t always an avid reader. As a kid, I absolutely hated books. Like every child my age, I saw them as natural enemies. Reading anything except my textbooks was simply out of question. The future, though, had something else in store for me.
As it turned out, my curriculum needed me to face my biggest fear yet – novels. Little did I know then that this would mark the start of a remarkable journey. The first novel I read was titled The Blue Umbrella, written by none other than Ruskin Bond. Honestly, I was flabbergasted by the time I was done reading it. It totally beat me how a book could be so good. Anyhow, this was the moment I decided to read actively.
The next book I read was another novel, Matilda by Roald Dahl. This fantasy novel stimulated the unbridled curiosity of the then me. Its riveting story encouraged me to read other books like The Invisible Man and Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Being a diehard Harry Potter movie buff, I also started reading the books. It goes without saying that they were all top-notch. However, as I grew up and got to high school, my interest in books gradually declined as a result of increasing academic pressure.
The summer of 2019 saw the declaration of my grade twelve Board exam result. The result came as a shock to me. Having scored well in school all year, I now was a nobody. Everything felt so dark and gloomy, with no end in sight. I felt like a failure and started harboring serious doubts about my career, which had apparently come to an abrupt end even before it started. I grew distant from my friends. With no one to talk to and share my feelings with, I fell into depression. Suicidal thoughts began haunting me all day.
This phase lasted for about two months. A few days later, my friends paid me a surprise visit. I cried my heart out in front of them. I told them that I was scared of the society. They supported me and reminded me of my passion for reading. Well, that was all the motivation I needed. After they left, I found my dirty pile of books and cleaned it up. I reminded myself not to think of anything else and read like nothing else mattered, and so I did. War and fantasy became my favorite genres over this period.
I read Jim Eldridge’s Desert Duel and was deeply moved by how an Allied commander defied all odds to win a tough desert battle against a top Axis commander. I realized that nothing was impossible if I believed in myself. Thereafter, it didn’t take me long to rediscover myself. I also went on to read a variety of self-help books, which came in handy to improve my personality.
Fast-forward to 2022, and I’ve graduated from the University of Delhi. With a master’s in sight, I will forever remain indebted to books for guiding, motivating and helping me.
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