When I was 16, used to read a lot of books, any book I could lay my hands on. I still read today, but now I select books to suit my interest and purpose.It took me a long time to be able to do so.The time and events which changed the course of my life are still fresh in my mind.
Like so many of my friends, I used to earn money by teaching primary schools children (now I teach college students). Mr.Chhetry never paid me but he always had a reason. One day he had nothing smaller than a 500 rupee note on another he was simply not home and so on. Then I used to think him a liar but now I think of him as a fine gentleman who was the victim of poverty.
One late afternoon, I was walking by his house when he motioned me to come inside."I owe you" he begun I thought I'd save him the trouble of thinking up a new excuse " No problem! Don't worry about it".
I'll be able to pay in a couple of days. In the meantime, I thought perhaps you could choose one or two volume for a down payment. He gestured towards the walls, and I saw book stacked everywhere. Mr. chhetry encouraged, " find something you like.What do you read ?' I didn't know. So I said," pick for me." He raised his eyebrows and regarded me for a while. After a moment, he handed me a dark red book.
I started the book sitting outward on an uncomfortable kitchen chair. Within a few pages, everything else disappeared and I plunged into the events of the book.When the eveninglight finally failed, I moved inside and read all through the night.
To this day,35 years later, I vividly remember the experience. I used to read books but for the first time I was stunned by the undiluted power a book could contain.
Next week when I met him, he asked "well?" " It was good," I said, "keep it then, "he said and take another ." To cut a long story short, Mr. Chhetry never paid me a rupee for teaching his children that year or the next, but I learned that summer that reading was not the innocent pastime which I used to think it to be. Now I think that a book if it arrives at the right moment, will change the course of all that follows.