Books were my first friends ever. They have been a true soulmate for me, having healed my soul in more ways than one.

There are times when I am still transported back to the old days, when I was a rather shy, timid girl. Picture a seven-year-old girl who cannot so much as say hi to someone. If someone were to ask her about friends, books would be her ever so timid reply.

Born in a family of readers, I was accustomed to having our suitcases crammed with books. Tons and tons of them. Even so, reading for me was not half as interesting as it was for my parents. At least that is how it was in the beginning.

Then one fine day, I bought myself a Geronimo Stilton, more out of a desire to appear cool than some genuine interest. Unsurprisingly, I brought it home and dumped it on the heap of books I owned. It was only months later that boredom forced me into picking up the book. Mesmerized and blown away, there was no looking back from there. I mean, just imagine how fun it would be to travel to ancient Mesopotamia under the cozy refuge of your blankets!

From there, I went on a book-buying spree, and this time I was buying those books to actually read them! I read them all: from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Around the World in Eighty Days. I no longer stopped claiming to be a book lover, for books were actually making their way to my heart. It was as if I had stumbled upon my prince charming.

But alas, this euphoria did not last for long. Life did what life does, and one trouble after another worked its way into my life. However, even in despair, I turned to my only friend – the words printed on inanimate pages bound together as books.

Books proved to be the greatest friend for Nishtha Saniyawala in her moments of gloom

I rummaged through my father’s closet and found a friend that would guide her – Bhagvad Gita. Somewhere down the line, books became a safe haven for me, or maybe even a vault I could trust my secrets with. Sometimes, they would sweep me off my feet, and others it would knock some sense into me. They would both calm me down and let me live my wildest dreams. Authors like Jane Austen, Michelle Obama and Sudha Murthy did me a world of good. They made me the woman I am today. Lilly Singh taught me to live life king-size

And not just that, books also quenched my thirst for knowledge. They sharpened my intellect, brought more clarity to my thoughts, and made me a better orator. This Jules Renard quote perhaps perfectly sums up my take on books: “When I think of all the books left for me to read, it brings me happiness”.


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