I was quite curious since my childhood. I used to be a vigorous, if not a particularly gifted writer. I used to try and hone my writing skills for hours. It was only later that I discovered that my hands were more suited to art and craft than they were to weaving magic with words.

I also learned the traditional Indian drum instrument known as khol. Interestingly, I had learned it purely on my own, without any assistance from anyone. I had managed to collect a few video recordings from my friends and had soon become pretty good at playing it.

However, as far as my academics were concerned, things weren’t quite as smooth and seamless there. I wasn’t much into reading. As one would have noticed, I preferred learning from my hands rather than my eyes.

Rasamai is a gifted player of the traditional instrument called khol

Coming from a traditional South Indian family, my grandmother wanted me (and her other grandchildren) to learn about ancient India’s historical epics. She would often narrate the saga of the greatest battle ever fought on Earth, nearly five thousand years ago (the Mahabharata). While attentively listening to her, I would wonder how a fratricidal war of such epic proportions could have taken place because of a family conflict.

That was the very first time I had felt an urge to look for the answers to this and the many other questions that kept popping into my head. I read a thousand-page book about the great Kurukshetra war. By the time I had finished it about three months later, it had become my favorite bedtime book.

Subsequently, I came to know that another battle had unfolded between humans and deities at a place called Troy. Not for the first time, I was both surprised and curious to know how a small thing could provoke such a huge war – a golden apple in this case! My inquisitiveness lead me to read a booked titled The Trojan War.

As I grew up, I developed a thing for business. I was privileged to learn a lot from business magazines and self-help books of various authors such as Robert Kiyosaki and Benjamin Graham. Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad had a profound impact on my thought process.

I was also fascinated by quite a lot of books on philosophy and psychology. The higher truth presented throughout the works of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada immensely served to influence and enhance my life.

Finally, I had understood that I could also use my hands to devour the abundance of knowledge that books were replete with.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Rasamai! It’s amazing how books can suddenly become appealing to the most adamant non-readers.

If you are an Indian and have a story to tell about how reading enriched your life, we are more than eager to hear it from you. Getting published has never been easier, has it?