Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Book that Changed My World

Lord Chesterfield’s letters to his son
LIFCO Publications
18 Pages
50 paisa

Yes. This was the book that started it all. This was the first ever book I read rather I was made to read and time and again. The man behind this was none other than my father. It was in those wonderful days of my childhood, at the tender age of twelve, when I just finished my class VI, those never ending sessions of reading this book everyday morning started. My father was fanatical about these English reading sessions and his most unforgettable quote used to be “I won’t leave you until you are able to read one letter everyday with such fluency like the running water flowing out of the tap.” The book in mention was a highly abridged version of the original book “
LETTERS TO HIS SON By the EARL OF CHESTERFIELD on the Fine Art of becoming a MAN OF THE WORLD and a GENTLEMAN.My father wanted me to be one. He used to explain all the letters, their meaning, their context and there used to be a dictionary kept next to us during those reading sessions to look up those bombastic words. At 12 yrs, all the words seemed to be bombastic. I don’t remember a day when I have voluntarily started the session myself. But then I used to do it anyways. These English reading sessions, put that habit of reading in me and subconsciously I started becoming a keen reader. I started reading almost anything and everything I could lay my hands on. Reading became my habit and soon it became my attitude. This was singularly responsible for all that happened to me in the following years. I became a book maniac. These reading sessions increased my reading speeds and hence I could read more for an exam in the same given time. It gave me the power never to be lonely. Because, any man who is a friend of books, is never lonely even when he is alone. Recently, when one of my superior boss asked me what were my hobbies, I told him about a few. Nonchalantly he remarked to my immediate boss, that nowadays youngsters don’t read and attributed it to all ills. When I quietly replied that reading was no more my hobby but a habit, he was amused.

This was the book that started it all, this was the book that taught me good manners, this was the book that grilled into my mind that character is the best wealth one can amass, this was the book that catapulted me into this long literary journey, this was the book that sowed the seeds of my unsatiable quest for knowledge, this was the book that was the precursor to the attitude to seek and learn. I have come very far from there. After almost 15 yrs, I have just downloaded the e-version of this book to start all over again because those days when I did went through the rut of those reading sessions, I comprehended very little of what was being told. It is never too late to start again. This time, it is by choice.

And behind all this, there is a man who had the vision then, who relentlessly pursued it even at the cost of his popularity with his son, a man who had a dream of seeing his son a Man of the World and a Gentleman. Yes. He is none other than my father.
Is he standing silent with victory at his feet?


Prophet of Doom said...

no comments for a review on a good book ... sad indeed

Muthukumar Puranam said...

I know you are awarded for the student who makes best use of library. In fact you use to take me to library in our school. Instead of reading good things, I read those "consultancy" columns to know about adult problems is a different thing altogther though :=)

The Soul Doctor said...

@ muthu...laugh out loud....

No.I strongly disagree with u.atleast i havent seen surfing through the hometruths columns. And I know u very well....

summa unnaye ne kora sollikathe