03 July 2015

The First Book

All readers are initiated into reading by someone. Though one wouldn't easily share the efforts put into being a well read person. But there are few who initiate you into this world and you end up starting there. 

I started reading very late in life. The reading was limited to comic books and cartoons. Even the fairy tales came much later in my life. My memory fails me on the Title name but I remember reading one of the Enid Blyton books as a 10 year old. Their were text books and standard stories like 'Maggie cuts her hair' and 'The Importance of Being Earnest' which I remember. There was Ramayana and Mahabharta as part of Hindi syllabus. 

But the first proper novel I read proper and clear was 'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Bronte. A romantic tragedy, was my first book ever and it's interesting that both these genres have been my least read. But I actually loved this book and broken heart of Heathcliff hurt me too. We had a wonderful English Teacher Ms Vatsala Kaul who taught us in 7th class, she was the one who gave this book as a Holiday Homework. This was the first time we were given a book to read during holidays and the book has stayed with me forever. Although Ms Kaul left after only 1 year in school. She was a very interesting teacher with a unique style of teaching a subject like English that I fell in love with this subject a little. Well unconventional ways and teachers have a short life and eventually you come back to the age old method of blackboard and notes and mirroring text books into exam papers. This is how learning is missed in our education system. But some stories stay just like Wuthering Heights stayed with me.  I wonder why she gave us this book to read. A classic in its right I am glad I read it. 

This was the first book, yes. But it takes more to develop a reading habit and I owe it to two avid readers, who helped me in this - A friend and a sibling. Thanks to them I started on my reading journey and it continues since. Developing a healthy reading habit has helped me plan my retirement 40 years in advance. Isn't it wonderful. From my first book to the last, life is beautiful! 


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