This is one subject that can be discussed and talked about any time and every time. We come across people who assert that books have made them what they are -- leaders in various fields. But we also come across people who assert that books -- reading -- made them better human beings.
They insist that they enjoyed a truly peaceful and harmonious family life thanks to books. Here is a personal account of a woman who asserts that books made a positive difference to her family: “A sudden stroke of misfortune hit our family years ago. I lost my husband in an accident. I was burdened with three kids and old mother-in-law, plus certain financial debt that we had to repay. We had no resources. But my mother-in-law, a woman of substance though she studied only up to the 10th standard, reminded me that we had enough resources that can help us to keep the family together mentally. ‘We have books. We have a culture of reading books. We will continue doing it. That will give us a good idea of how to face the current crisis,’ mother-in-law said. We listened to her. And slowly, after initial years of difficulties, my son grew up to be a successful entrepreneur. And all this happened because we kept our cool, we stayed together despite difficulties. Today also, we spend our free time reading.
That ensures a happy calmness in our home.” The story sounds like one found in movies and novels, as if. But many such true stories abound in our society. One famous actress and film director -- Mrunal Kulkarni -- insisted smilingly in an interview that she and her husband continued with the culture of books and reading in their family -- carrying forward from the people of earlier generation -- and groomed their son. ‘Our family enjoys a wonderful harmony that is our gain from the books and reading’, she said in effect. I also know very closely a person who gives all the credit of his phenomenal success to books and his habit and hobby of reading.
He has toured around the world. He has lectured in places that people cannot even imagine. He has made friends with iconic personalities in diverse fields. “And all this has become possible only because of books. I was introduced to books when I was a child, and never gave up the habit. My success is due to the books that carved a different person out of an ordinary boy,” the man says with a polite confidence. Ask any top sportsperson, top musician, top business executive, top artist in any discipline the secret of success. And all of them come up with one common answer: Books added a special value to their lives. Books often provide a foundation and core of good life. As all celebrate Dussehra, all I can do is to wish everybody: “Happy reading!”