The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, July 9, 2000

Savour the pleasures of reading

THIS refers to "Beg, buy or borrow but do read books" by Samreen Farooqui (June 18). Books are precious and priceless. They have the power to change the world. A man is known by the company he keeps, as also by the books he reads. But to get the maximum out of books, a person has to be mature enough to pick up the best and reject the rest as trash. It is unfortunate that the modern generation has lost the taste for books. It is the responsibilty of teachers and adults to guide the youth in making a judicious choice of books.

A person never feels lonely in the company of books. It is shocking that highly educated people squander away their precious time in clubs, restaurants, hotels and parties.

A person who loves books is not ready to exchange his treasures of books for any material wealth. Speaking about his love of books, Lord Macaulay once said "I would rather be a poor man in garret with plenty of books than a king who did not love reading". A gold mine of joy, books sooth the grieving, rebuke the obstinate and advise the foolish. Books are not fair-weather friends and flatterers that forget you when fortune forsakes. They stand by you through thick and thin. Thus hea lthy literature is the best tonic for the soul.




It is a hard fact that the youth of today is not seriously interested in reading books. Actually, they do not have the time and patience to read. They would rather watch movies on cable television than through the pages of books.

Another reason for the decline in the reading habit is that youngesters cannot afford to buy the exorbitantly-priced books. They prefer cheaper means of entertainment. Even schools do not encourage reading amongst students.

However, some youngsters still believe that reading books is the best means of entertainment and pleasure. Avid young readers like books on self improvement because books help in shaping their overall personalities. Books are a great source of valuable information and knowledge. They help a person become a better human being.



Books are life-long friends and true guides. They make us broad-minded and liberal. They acquaint us with our history, culture and traditions. They are reliable links between our past and present. These days, the reading habit among the common people is on the decline. Most of them sit glued to their TV sets and don’t have time to read even newspapers. Books help us to transcend the narrow barriers of caste, creed and community.

The syllabi of schools and colleges don’t encourage the reading habit among students. Very few students take the pains to go through the original stories, essays and poems. They generally consult books which provide paaraphrased versions of original texts. Without adequate self study, we remain complacent and dogmatic throughout our lives and refuse to see beyond our personal preferences and prejudices.

In recent years, the prices of books have shot up and even voracious readers find it difficult to purchase books. Despite all this, we must read more and more books. We must make use of public libraries. The government must open libraries in smaller towns and villages so that even the poorer sections of society have an easy access to books.


Breaking the ice

With reference to Taru Bahl’s article "Breaking the ice" (June 18), both parents are necessary for the full development of children and for maintaining harmony in the home. In many modern homes, the father has become a remote figure. He is so busy with his job that he has little or no time for his family. A wise husband will always spend a reasonable amount of time at home with his family, helping his children deal with the many problems of growing up in a complicated world.

The enrichment of human lives and the well-being of society depend, to a large extent, on homes built on an understanding between husband and wife as also between parents and children.


One false step

This refers to Taru Bahi’s article "One false step" (June 25). It has rightly been pointed out that one wrong step can change the entire course of one’s life. A few moments of weakness have to be paid for by a lifetime of tears. Sometimes wrong advice leads to wrong moves, wrong moves lead to wrong results and wrong results are a one-way road to disaster.

One sinks deeper and deeper into a quagmire of despair but there is no retracing the one’s step. The path of life should be trudged cautiously so that there is no remorse later. However there is always room for making amends. As Confucious said, "One greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising everytime we fall."


Dreams are the theme

Apropos of "Dreams can be themes for the future" by D.C. sharma (June 11), the famous German mathematician Johannes Kepler dreamt that he was reading a book he purchased from the market. And this was the book he was yet to write! He penned it in 1609, and aptty entitled it Dream, wherein he forecast what he dreamt i.e travel to the moon, problems in space travel, the high standards required of astronauts, the physical obstacles between the earth and moon e.g. suns radiation showers, weightless in space, etc. Wonderstruck himself, Kepler could not explain how he derived the power to forecast and describe the scientific contents in such detail, which are now being confirmed as logically correct.

Dreams are not only prophetic but tell us about our previous lives too. A Slavic immigrant to Australia, Peter Niov dreamt about a feast in a mediavel castle where Anglo Saxon was spoken. There was a commotion resulting in a fight. At this moment, Peter would wake up, feeling a sharp metal pierce his heart. Strangely, Peter was born with a mark on his chest, the very place where the metal pierced him. Investigations proved that there was an aristrocat who had died under such circumstances in medieaval England.

Elizabeth S. Wilson of Florida would often see herself in a dream, dressed in maroon brocade sinking with the Titanic. After drowing, she would go to a building in Boston (she had never been to Boston in her current life) to see a young man there. Enquiries revealed that the young man, now very old had lost his wife in the Titanic sinking. When he showed a photograph of his wife, it was an exact replica of the present Elizabeth, who in her life, feared both maroon colour and water

Indeed, strange is the mysterious would of dreams!