Sonia Dogra, Freelance Writer, Suratgarh, Rajasthan
What can really make young brains tick?
Well, I says, it is only the power of the word that can ignite our little dynamites. What can be better, dear children, than growing in the company of BOOKS. Every single word you read makes you a dreamer of sorts, every single book you open fills your life with light, gives you a vision and kindles your imagination. Before you know it, you have taken the plunge and you are in the middle of a vast sea of knowledge — one that you are willing to swim across and yet hope that it never ends.
So, what should you do if you haven’t yet managed to read a single book? Well, it is never too late! How about asking your parents for a festival gift this season, especially a book! They will be more than happy to get it for you and you will make a wonderful start.
Often we are confused when we begin reading. We don’t know what to choose, what to pick and when to begin. Here is your answer. Begin right away. Pick up the newspaper and read every bit that gets your attention. Pick up your course book and read. But remember only to read. Put aside the mundane routine of blanks and questions and answers. They can be laid to rest here. Read an old magazine lying at home or borrow from a neighbour who has an envious collection. Visit the school library and ask your teacher for a copy of her favourite read. If you’ve loved watching Tintin on 3D, get a book about the little detective and read a series. Remember, language is no bar. You may choose a book in English, Hindi, Tamil, Marathi or French. The idea is only to read. Go and dig that old and dusty dictionary from the lowermost shelf of the rack. Read the dictionary.
Many a times we are overworked. Homework, hobby classes and games — where do we fit in our reading time? Every single day get into bed fifteen minutes before your usual time. Use those fifteen minutes to read the book by your bed side. (Yes, you must always have a book by your bedside). Gradually turn those fifteen minutes to twenty and then to half an hour. This half an hour of your reading time will soon become your favourite time of the day until you will not be able to put down a book before you finish reading it.
In fact there is another question I should have addressed towards the beginning of this piece. And that is, why should we read at all? It is perfectly fine to get fixed to your video game in your free time. But what if you give those minutes to a book. You will gain just one more idea, understand one more person, learn one more word, see one more world, know one more country, feel one more emotion, wonder at one more culture, visualize one more flower and open one more door for yourself. It is certainly a lot more than what one click of the button on your game can give you.
So friends, read the word, make it your world. Make it a legacy that you are ready to wrap in the form of a gift and give it to your best friend on his birthday. Ask your friend to pass it on until we all become a brigade of well-read people. Technology, children, is short lived. It is replaced each single day. You may repent buying an outdated model of a video game but I am sure you will never repent having read a book.
(The writer is a former teacher, a regular writer for college magazines; worked on the editorial board during teaching years; is a homemaker and is presently penning her thoughts on soniadogra@blogspot)