It all started when I was a young girl. I still remember the days when my father would bring me the Janhamamu (the Odia version of Chandamama) comics. I would eagerly wait for school to end so I could read those illustrated books. He knew exactly what stories I loved to read. While he brought me all sorts of magazines, storybooks and comics, Chandamama was arguably my favorite of the lot. I was just so in love with it. Its stories were quirky, thrilling, sweet, and breathtaking. Every character was so clearly delineated. I was so into reading those comics that I would finish one in a couple of days. At first, my father found this really surprising, but he soon got used to it. In fact, he was always very appreciative of my reading habits.

Speaking of habits, I had this one habit that he appreciated more than any other – reading everything out loud. He believed that doing so will help improve my vocabulary. However, that was anything but the reason why I read the way I did.

You see, I read my stories aloud so my grandfather could hear them and laugh and smile with me. In fact, he would get even more excited than I, so much so that he would finish all his chores to sit with me in the balcony and hear me read the stories to him. Things got so interesting at times that we would even skip our evening snacks. We did not mind it, for it was no less a satisfying experience. Looking back, I must say that those habits (and those days) not only made me a better reader, but also a better person.

So, that is all about my story on how books changed my life for the better. I really hope you enjoyed reading it.


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