The first story I ever read was when I was in tenth grade. We had been asked to read Gulliver’s Travels and pen down our views about its characters, among other things. Until then, I had never read a book – other than my textbooks, I mean. My parents or teachers had never actually encouraged us to read non-course books or novels.
When I started reading the book, the first thing that came to my mind was, “what does all this mean?” My command of English was fairly average, to say the least. I had to consult the dictionary countless times while reading the book. In fact, even the dictionary offered little, if any, help with some of the words, and I did not find that surprising. After all, Gulliver’s Travels is not a recent literary work. It was written way back in 1726!
Anyways, some of the chapters were quite good, and I even managed to breeze through the first part of the book. However, I was not looking forward to reading it anymore. That is why I put the book aside and decided to look up its remaining portion on the Internet to get some ‘help’ with writing its summary. I know it is underhand, but no one actually knows it until I spill the beans, do they?
A few weeks down the line, I was hit by a taxi on my way to school. At the time, all I could think of was blood, pain and, of course, my shrill screams. When I regained consciousness, I was at the hospital, surrounded by my parents. My arms… well, let’s just say that they were badly bruised. Even though I could no longer feel the pain, I was crying. My mind felt numb and exhausted.
The next time I opened my eyes, I was calm – at least from the outside. Deep within, however, I felt depressed; all I could think of was if I would ever recover. I kept wondering if things would ever go back to how they were before that harrowing mishap. That was all I could really think of.
A few days later, I was discharged from the hospital. Even at home, my mind felt unstable. Negative thoughts dominated my thought process. Sensing the storm raging inside of me, my sister gifted me a book. It was The Story of My Life by Hellen Keller. Even though I was familiar with the story, I started reading it nonetheless. To my utter surprise, I had soon lost my way in that seemingly familiar book.
Even more astonishing was the fact that, in my condition then, I could actually relate to Keller. Her spirit motivated me to no end. Despite being deaf-blind, she did not give up and went on to become a ray of hope for everyone who feels that everything has come to an end. She gave me the courage to get back up on my feet.
I still turn to the book when life feels a bit too unfair. Surprisingly, Helen Keller still motivates me to keep fighting.
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