Since my mom and dad had married against my grandparents’ wishes, I did not know much about my grandfather, Pulavar P.S. Krishnamurthy. By the time I reached my adolescence, they had accepted us and the family had been reunited for good. That’s when I got the opportunity to know my celebrity grandfather in person and came to admire his punctuality, integrity and huge collection of books, most of which were in Tamil. That was the first time I felt motivated to start reading.
The first book I read was Wings of Fire. I was inspired to read it as my tenth-grade English book contained a concise article from this critically acclaimed read. I read it within a month and became an instant fan of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. This book taught me that nothing can stop a man who has the confidence to achieve great things in life – not for himself, but for the society.
I read a lot of other impressive books as I grew up. On his eightieth birthday, my grandfather was gifted the book titled Swami Vivekanandarin Varalarum Arivuragalum. Coincidentally, he had already perused it and so he gave it to me. With nothing much to do at that point of time, it took me less than a week to read it, and what a read it was! It soon became one of my all-time favorites. For his whole life – right from the day when he could barely make ends meet to his legendary speech at the Parliament of the World’s Religions held in Chicago – he never settled and was always looking for ways to enlighten the masses. It was yet another inspiring example of a man who had lived his life for others, and not for himself.
Reading these books taught me the art of leading a productive life. To sum up, I would like to say that being the reason for someone’s happiness is a wonderful feeling to have, one that gives you satisfaction like nothing else. I hope everyone reading my story, starts reading and becomes the reason for someone’s smile.
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