It is said that a good writer is always a good reader. By a good reader I do not necessarily mean reading good books, but I mean reading a lot of all sorts of books. However, I hate to admit that over the years, my frequency of reading has deteriorated due to so many other commitments. But I can never hesitate in confessing that when I start daydreaming in the middle of a long and boring report-writing task, I always see myself reading a good book while sipping on a cocktail, sitting in a private garden far away from the city. The reason I am suddenly writing about my passion of reading today is because I just finished reading ‘The Book Thief’, and the best seller touched me in so many ways. There were a few characters in the book who instilled a sense of humanity and compassion in me and then there was Liesel, the young Communist girl who could not read or write, but became ‘the book thief’. I could relate to her so easily. I could feel the thirst she had for reading books, the awe and delight she felt when she first saw a library, and how, in times of stress, reading calmed her nerves and inspired her to read for other people.
I recollect memories of my childhood when I used to stand in the school assembly witnessing the daily routine of kids celebrating their birthdays going up on stage and telling the whole gathering what they aspire to become after they grow up. There used to be many aspiring doctors, teachers, actors and so on but I now wonder how many of them actually went on to fulfil their dreams. Of course most kids just used to say what sounded cool then, but then there were a few who really meant what they said. I believe during some period of life between childhood and adulthood, most kids start dreaming. Dreaming about their uncertain futures and the choices they got to make to live a happy life. The thing that most people don’t realize then is that how important it is to hold on to our dreams and not let our temporary desires or any other obstacle sway our aspirations. Somehow, along the way we start losing faith in our dreams, and start compromising the life we really wanted to have with the life that others indirectly create for us. Sometimes it is our family trying to live their ambitions through us, or we end up thinking what the world would say if we did something we wanted, or we just get distracted, nevertheless we lose our dreams and start living life with a more practical approach. I am not against being practical, but I am against the idea of killing our dreams just because the world thinks they are impossible to reach. As humans, we have an instinct to dream and a right to fulfill the best of our dreams and I hate the idea of someone dictating to us what is achievable and what isn’t.
I believe this is the reason we see so many people unhappy around us. There are many people out there who could invent something or sing, dance, act and write. There are some who loved but lacked the courage to fight, few others who wanted to reach the stars but feared to walk the road less taken. All they do now is regret. They have become slaves to the world around them. When time demands responsibility, they had failed to stand up for their dreams and make the right choices and when they now reap of what they had sowed they conveniently blame God and fate. Life is what we make of it. It is important that our inner voice never goes unheard because it is that voice which is not influenced by the world around us. It is honest and free of prejudices.
There is a pleasant twist in this amazing tale of time. Time can always change. And it is never too late to start dreaming and getting what we want. A person without ambition and dreams is like fire without heat. It lasts but does not serve its purpose. And purpose is what we need to make every moment of our lifetime a moment of rejoice. So dream big everyone, there is no harm in dreaming. J
I now remember the joy I experienced when my dad bought me my first book, it was Snowhite and the Seven Dwarfs, I think. How I kept re-reading it till I got another set of books. And then of course, how can I forget the magical Harry Potter era when my imagination knew no bounds and I embraced the world of fantasy.
School is never a student’s heaven, but I remember loving it once a week when we could visit the school library and borrow a book each week and return it the next week. I can still feel the pleasure of brushing through rows and rows of books trying to find the best one to read. During my middle school, I had become addicted to the Goosebumps series which were written by R.L. Stine. Curling under my blanket at night, with ‘The Headless Ghost’ in hand, I used to enjoy the shivers that used to run down my spine.
By the time I passed out of school, I had become a more mature reader, having read the likes of books such as Pride and Prejudice, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Diary of Anne Frank, and the list goes on.
Each book I have read makes me marvel at the power of words and the unique beauty with which each author strings them together. Each book opens up with it a new world of possibilities and brings with it a ray of hope. Every book I read inspires me to write. Read. Write again. And as such the cycle shall go on until the day my soul departs from this world, because every life has a story and every story wants to be heard.