Reading must have been a part of everyone’s life. The only difference, if there, would be our tastes of reading might be in mismatch. Like, you may like poetry but I don’t. The same thing applies to books ranging from textbooks and reference books of various subjects to marvellous literary works of fiction. But important term here is reading. It’s really important. And it makes a difference. It teaches us all about life and make us a different and more able person who is wise enough to approach the life in a romantic way rather than condemning it for what it is. Today this habit of reading helps me to be more romantic in my approach to life that is to accommodate everyone without criticizing them.

I started reading stories when I was five – my mother confirms that! In the beginning I used to read stories of Dalpatram – a famous Gujarati writer. My school, set in the outskirts of the city and lavish in scenic beauty, had a well maintained library. The pleasing smell of plethora of books there wooed me, more than anything. That pleasant experience of being there in my recess time, reading stories from the Gujarati magazines was the one which kept me in the beautiful virtual world where I experienced almost every emotion that existed.

As I grew, those feelings penetrated deeper into me. I started switching from just stories to those voluminous novels. (Though I never miss the stories in the weekly supplement of the newspaper I read, even today!) I used to get fascinated by the number of pages a writer can write in a book, just explaining her story! But it was only later I came to know that there are thousands of writers with magical fingers who could do that ‘simple’ task. And each one’s task was unique, too. I understood then that this world is full of opportunities and potential, we just have to know how to harness them. And eventually I learned how to do that.

In the process that day came when I went ‘globalized’! I started reading English literature. It gave me an entirely new perspective of reading. (It’s beyond my reach though, to compare Gujarati and English literature as both are marvellous in their own senses.) And exploring just an another planet of the solar system was really a pleasurable and adventurous ride and it still is!

Till now, be it the books of Enid Blyton (from which my globalization started) or Stephen King or Thomas Keneally or Richard Flanagan, they are the biggest contributor to my personality. These have taught me that the world is all about fiction. Those boundless territories of fiction keeps me hungry enough to explore more. And believe me, it is all about the prolonged process of exploration that you enjoy because the flair of reaching destination early may cause you severe burns.

I consider myself fortunate that I am able to enjoy this beautiful and romantic journey with my darlings – novels. You should not take only novels for granted as you are not me. You can also choose to be Einsteins and can fall in love with those rich technical books which I (personally) found really boring. But there is nothing absurd about it as everyone has one’s own taste. After all Shakespeare is not an only path to walk on. And remember, we may not become Shakespeares or Einsteins, but as I told, it’s all about the prolonged process of exploration – the journey that keeps us engaged – rather than the destination. I am already on the journey and I will love to have you journeying with me. I promise we will enjoy, stumble, cry and do it all again, without any regret – in a more beautiful and yes, romantic way!

Published by NIKUNJ GAJERA