Manoeuvre back to books

DH Photo by S K Dinesh

R K Narayan, Jim Corbett, Ruskin Bond, and who else — J K Rowling, well I know her, but… others, I have seldom heard of them — never on any Forbes list. Who are they? asks the 21st-century kid.

These are a generation of authors who offer in their works a unique blend of reality and creativity.        

Well, stuck to the screens, we modern-day teenagers rarely care about books. School curriculum textbooks are solely defined to be books to us.

The modern trend of video games, online entertainment opportunities and social media has caused this limitation. Since these offer an excellent distraction, books seem out-generated or old-fashioned.

And as books are more of a bore, mobile phones, tabs or computers look like the only option of entertainment, but to them, the real joy of reading stays hidden, in a hide loom.

There are some friends of mine who do read books, but a lot of them stay deprived of this experience.

Internet or web-only gathers the desired information mechanically. It, without discrimination, contains good as well as bad things. Most importantly, you don’t find the humane touch there.

The books contain in them this emotion factor so abundantly that when you span their pages, they melt your heart. 

Whenever my mother is nostalgic about how her grandmothers told her stories, I feel sad. But the narration of stories in books brings alive that feeling to me.

The pages start talking to us. In a matter of time, a deep bond between the reader and the book grows. 

It also takes our imagination to a higher dimension. We begin to walk the steps with the characters, trace their path and pace the events. 

It’s also subtle.

Several scientists have felt the need for children to have this experience. 

Stephen Hawking, whose A Brief History of Time sold over 10 million copies, describes everything about our universe.

Then there are Leonard Susskind and Walter Lewin, who have excelled in the field of theoretical physics.

Their works ignite in us a special glisten meant for rising higher and shining brighter.

There are some qualities that are only in the realm of storytellers who grasp our attention, just like those games keep us engrossed. One of these is Poornachandra Tejaswi, also an environmentalist.

His stories on environmental science as well as entomology make us feel that we, too, are looking at those insects, like touching the wings of a butterfly.

Nagesh Hegde is another, who accurately and simply describes stupefying mainstream science facts just like our grandma told us stories. His works describe present-day problems and offer a simple solution to each. These works are the need of the hour. 

Be it Swami from Malgudi Days (R K Narayan), or The Man-Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag (Corbett), or say, Rusty (Bond himself), who runs away to London, or there’s the excellent fellow Kosimo from The Baron In The Trees, who spends all his life on trees — these characters speak volumes. And these books keep the reader alive in us. 

Not until the last line is our thirst quenched. 

I’m not ignoring the gadget-mania of the present century; in fact, I, too, make adequate use of it when needful. What I’m doing is unfolding the treasure and pleasure of reading to you, so that you understand what reading really is. 

(The writer is a Class 10 student at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Malleswaram, Bengaluru)

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