Literary expressions had caught my fascination from an early age. As a teenager, I used to jot down quotes and song lyrics on my room’s wall. I did that both to motivate myself and to gain a clarity of thought. Now, I had been extremely lucky to have gotten the right to education and a proper, quality guidance right from the formative years of my life. In spite of being born in an orthodox family, my education went as smoothly as one could have asked for. Of course, what we were taught at school never really brought the best out of me. In fact, by my own admission, I remained an average student throughout my school life. Later, I began pursuing a career in music.
I truly believe that words are a powerful way of conveying your expressions. When used well, they have the ability to transform lives for the better. In my early twenties, I was already writing and composing songs; I was curious about this newfound talent of mine, one that allowed me to express all my thoughts in their purest, most unadulterated form. Even so, I was still, at best, a novice when it came to my composition skills. It was probably down to the fact that I was not at all interested in reading! This, however, changed when I dated this girl in my mid-twenties.
She was both kindhearted and beautiful. She was intelligent, and her understanding of music, art and literature was impressive to say the least. Reading was one of her biggest pastimes, and she even insisted on me reading some of her recommended books. She added that, as an artist, I was not supposed to miss something as significant. Initially, I rejected the idea outright, saying that I had tried doing it previously and it was just not my cup of tea. However, she kept at it. Eventually, she brought me George Orwell’s Animal Farm, a short book of a mere 90 pages. “You’ll like it,” she had added with a smile.
Anyhow, the book kept lying around in my room for over a month (at least!). To be honest, I had read only a few pages before passing my verdict about how boring it really was. Frankly, given my short attention span, I was quite impatient about the very idea of reading an entire book!
Now, I must credit her for her perseverance, for she did not give up on me. Figuring out how unreasonable and childish I was being, she got me this book titled The Little Prince by the celebrated French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Notwithstanding my stubborn nature, I was particularly impressed with how the author had discussed the most complex themes in a simplified yet concise manner. The book even had a fair number of pictures to keep me hooked to the very end! Eventually, I found it difficult to not acknowledge how brilliantly it had been written. In fact, I developed a romantic connection with the book and wanted to know more about it.
I then went on to read Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha, before picking up Albert Camus’ The Stranger and George Orwell’s 1984.
I think I have been fortunate to have found mentors that introduced me to great authors and especially to the pleasure of reading a worthwhile book. Books help you broaden your horizons by putting you in different scenarios, beyond your comfort zone. They are like a faithful friend in solitude, one that lets you take part in the conversations between its characters. They teach us the values of patience and empathy in life. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that they are a time capsule of wisdom for future generations.
All in all, reading books has made me a more articulate speaker; they have even helped me enrich my knowledge and vocabulary. My writings are now a lot more profound, and my thought process is much better defined. I like to read at my own comfort and pace. In fact, I have not read a lot of books, but I think I have read enough to recommend a good read to a non-reader.
A NOTE TO OUR READERS
As a promising up-and-coming musician, Rahul could do with some support on his YouTube channel. You can also get in touch with him over his Facebook page if you would like to know more about his journey as a reader.
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