Ah! The pleasures of reading! The joy of deliberately losing oneself in the world of imagination as the words of a book guide you, leading you by the finger….
….As my mother once did and infected me with the reading virus – One of the innumerable gifts of love that she bestowed upon me. And now, I do the same for my son!
Every day, when my little son returned from play school, after freshening up, when he sat down to eat, I made him sit down on the floor next to me. Spread on the floor were picture books he had come to like over the months. With the restricted vocabulary that he had he would ask me to narrate a story from one of the books. Many a time, it would be the same story that I had read the day before! I would modulate my voice for the different characters (my stint at AIR came in handy here!). And even though I would be exhausted after a tiring day, just to see him enjoy a story would give me so much happiness thereby pushing to a corner any ache or pain that I had for the day.
The story reading sessions did not stop at this. Before my little boy went to sleep, before we said our prayers to God, he would want another story. The ambience of only a night lamp was quite exciting for my son. This time, the characters of the story would be all his. At that little age, animals and birds delighted him. So, I would invariably cook up a story about a pig, a squirrel, a dog, a cat, a lion, an owl and so on. Many a time, the rigours of daily life would be too much for my tired mind and fagged out shell. Yet, I would tell him a story without fail.
I am happy that my son insisted then because that not only helped cement the sacred bond between mother and son, it also helped me pop in little values of goodness in his vulnerable mind. My boy would learn about goodness, honesty, love, friendship, courage through the lives of his favourite animal characters.
Today, my little boy has just stepped into his teens. He no longer wants his Mamma to narrate stories to him. But, he loves reading! His choice of books may be different. But, the very fact that he loves reading makes me thank my mother for doing to me what I was able to do for my boy.
I cannot guarantee the victory of all the values taught to my boy.
I cannot be sure of all the habits and upbringing that my boy has had to follow all these years.
I know not about the future – what influences, what kind of pressures that friends, situations and society might put on him.
But, this much I do know:
That life can get lonely even amidst a crowd.
That life can get frustrating either way.
What better way to get rid of it all by just taking up a book and getting lost in it! For once, this mother can say that she is happy to let her child get lost in the world of words, ideas, thoughts and imagination – in the Kumbh Mela of Reading!
What say you?
Shail Raghuvanshi is a freelance journalist, content writer, editor, book reviewer and poet. She has 15 years of writing experience in newspaper, magazine, radio and television. She has worked as a Spoken English Teacher too. She runs a blog for writers called Write Space and blogs at her personal blog Muse N’ Motivation. A daughter, wife, mother and friend, she believes that there is no situation that can’t be made better. Faith, Friendship and Family are what makes her life complete.