“Don’t worry. Go back and read your books”
By Vijay Phanshikar :
The statement in the title of this edition of ‘Loud Thinking’ has had its own importance -- which came back rushing up in the loud-thinker’s mind as he pondered over the importance of celebrating the World Book Day (on Saturday). A long time back, when he was confused about handling of some professional obstacles and challenges, the loud-thinker shared his anxieties with a fatherly person. He heard the wailing in full calmness, and then said, “Don’t worry. Go back, and read your books”. The loud-thinker blindly pulled out a book from his personal library and opened a page -- on which he found a solution to his the issues he was intrigued by. COUNTLESS readers of books have come across such moments -- that they opened a book in anxious situations, and found answer to the issues on hand. Though some people may tend to brand such experiences as matters of blind-faith or superstition, those who are deep into book-reading would dismiss such allegations as biases of those who do not read books.
Personally, the loud-thinker has considered books as his friends; you can rely on them for anything, call them at any time, ask them to leave at will, argue with them, fight with them, cry on their shoulders, slam them. Books are exactly like all this. Between their covers, there are friends, and relatives. In one his columns, the loud-thinker described books as “sages between covers” -- always calm, always willing to render help, lend a hand of friendship, offer disinterested advice, and again stay calm and smiling -- above the mundaneness of living, vagaries of life. Unfortunately, in our society today, the numbers of people who read books as a matter of habit, as a matter of joy, as a matter of learning, as a matter of maturation, as a matter of finding a stronger foundation to stand on to face challenges of life, have been steadily coming down. Various reasons are often forwarded to stave off a criticism that people do not read books in the manner they should. But those who take to books as fish do to water, also know that all those reasons are nothing but lame excuses that stand up to no scrutiny and questioning.
No matter all this, the world knows countless numbers of people who took to book-reading as children and went on with the hobby, habit and honour of reading books all along -- and wrote wonderful stories of their own life in practical domains. The reason is for everybody to know and analyse. One of the oft-felt reasons is that in the current education system, no serious effort has been incorporated to nourish the habit of book-reading. And at home, too, a similar situation prevails -- with elders doing nothing to lead the kids to books. As we celebrate the World Book Day, these thoughts swirl up in the mind -- making the loud-thinker a sad man. But on a personal note, he stated unabashedly that it is only book-reading habit and hobby and honour that have made the loud-thinker a happy person.