Am I a book lover …? I’m a big fan of stories. The first few stories I came across in my life were during my childhood, the storytellers, my grandparents! Anything & everything could become a story, events linked to our traditions, our family & our home. I vividly remember, how much I enjoyed hearing stories related to my great grandfather. Every description of his persona, habits & the way he looked would help me imagine him, in all his glory. Every weekend I slept on my grandfather’s lap whilst listening to his stories. This hunger for stories guided me to the world of books.
Which book do I love most …? I don’t know, but I still remember the one that left me sleepless.
Back in school, around fifth grade, I found myself thinking about a story character all day & night that our teacher told us. Up until then, all the stories I heard were related to real-life characters. The story was about a boy who out of sheer hunger, took a loaf of bread by breaking the glass of a bakery store. As such, he got beaten up and arrested by the police. The teacher then stopped the story at that point, but the character was so real for me that it remained imprinted in mind for years.
I was curious to know the rest of the story, and couldn’t sleep a wink because my thoughts were of that poor boy who was arrested and his predicament thereafter. The next day I was hoping I could catch the teacher in his free period to finish the story, unfortunately, the teacher had already left the school. I was disappointed, yet, eager to know the destiny of the little boy after he was arrested. I had no idea who would be able to complete the story as all I recalled was the boy’s name, Jean Val Jean.
As years went by, I gathered inspiration from my previous story-tellers and started reading books. Stories took me into a different world which kept me fascinated and spellbound.
I read the famous book ‘Sherlock Holmes’ that had been given to me by my childhood friend, Jashin, as a going away present. He advised that this book could be read when I was bored. Well! I never knew boredom because I became addicted to all the stories within this book and completed the book in a week. I called him and said, ‘I finished it! Is there a sequel to it?’ He replied that he expected that reaction from me, and since then I became a big fan of fiction.
Once, I was on a short vacation in India, and my elder sister was studying for an exam in her room. While walking passed her room, I overheard her memorizing her studies. “One” familiar word caught my attention and I rushed into her room to check what she was studying. She explained that she had exam the following day, based on a book called ‘Les Miserables‘. I asked her for the name of the character and she replied, ‘Jean Val Jean’ – I then realized that the story that gave me sleepless nights was from this book. I was so excited reading each page- it was the emotion that you experience when you meet a school friend after years – so read the first portion very quickly, as I recalled it from my childhood teacher. I was engrossed to know what was going to happen next, but unfortunately the book didn’t have the full story.
At last, my heart was at peace because now it was in my hand and my footsteps took me to the nearest library.
As today is Book Lovers’ Day, I came to realize that somewhere along the way…I have lost this enthusiasm to explore what is new & unknown. I would like to read again & reminisce of what kept me alive. So, I’m requesting all Pom-Readers to recommend a good read to me, in honor of those who worked relentlessly to plant the seeds of knowledge in my heart.
Digital Landlord at Pomegranate Institute