I come from a traditional Hindu family. We were always taught that books were also a form of God and deserved no less respect than the Almighty Himself. Growing up in an atmosphere like that, it should come as no surprise that I always took great care of my books. However, over time, this relation of respect evolved into one of friendship.

Like most kids my age, to me, a fun read meant comics and illustrated books. I was especially fond of Hindi storybooks. However, my limited outlook changed after an incident in ninth grade.

I had one been noticing for a good while that one of our teachers always carried one book or the other. He would read it whenever he had a few minutes to spare.

Overcome by curiosity, I asked him one day, ‘Why do you always have a different book on you? They’re not even from our syllabus.’

‘Because books have so much on offer for us. We should also read non-academic books because they can teach us so much and stretch the limits of our imagination. Besides, books are our ancestors’ gift to us; they can help us learn more about our culture and solve so many of our problems.’

His simple yet profound explanation had taken me by surprise, so much so that I began looking at books from a completely different perspective. Now, it did take me a while to get into a reading habit. I would experience the occasional bout of boredom while reading. That said, the deeper I went into a story, the more interesting it became. I never knew I could feel thrilled and calm at once, much less that a simple book could induce all those sublime emotions.

As time passed by, I also developed a thing for writing. I cannot help but think that books had fueled my creativity. How many times has a scene unfolded right in front of your eyes while you are reading about it in a book? Well, that is how books give wings to our imagination.


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