As I read a novel sitting near a window, laughter of two girls catch my attention. So sweetly they are studying and side by side talking. I start noticing others too. There were many twosome, threesome and big groups of friend in the library. But all the seats near the corners and windows are occupied by lonesome. Its only then that I notice that even I am sitting alone.
I start thinking about all the times I have been to a library. My first visit to a library was when I was in second class, my age must be around 6 years. The teachers took us to the school library and encouraged us to read novels containing short stories. The librarian even taught us the way how can we locate a book by name of it's author. I was least interested in this stuff. All I could think about at that time was the section containing comics. There were several comics like champak, chacha chaudhary and some others too. This was what reading meant to me. Comics. Many a times, I used to keep a comic inside another book and would pretend to be reading that book. That was to make an impression over librarian.And fortunately, I never got caught.
Within a few months, I even lost interest in comics. And library became too boring for me. In 6th class, we were forced to take membership in school library. It was after 4 years that I went to the library again. I still remember name of the two books I borrowed in the whole year- Alice in Wonderland and Around the World in 80 Days. But I never cared to read them No, not even Alice in Wonderland. I had no serious interests even in fairy tales during those days. And not even in studies.
I grew up. I started gaining interest in studies when I was in 8th. Completing notes and homework became a task of prime importance. I would go to the library everyday during lunch break. I never went to canteen in those breaks. Never cared for food. All I cared about was homework. I only borrowed reference books from the library. No novels until then also. It continued till 10th grade. My hard work started getting noticed, it started to show results. I started getting 80 above. And started remaining happy. But before I could realize I was tagged as a studious nerd, or padhaku to be more precise.
After tenth grade, I went to USA, leaving behind all my tags, to start a new life. For a few weeks, I didn't leave the house. But one day I noticed, there was a big library just in front of the house where I was residing. One day I went there with dad. I was scared even to go just across the street alone. I spent around half an hour there. I liked it. I read some silly childish novel. Then I would go there all by myself and spend around an hour or couple there. Gradually I became addicted to reading. Teenage novel was what I used to read during that period. My reading speed increased. Initially I would take a week to complete a novel. But within no time I started to complete a novel per day.
Within a few months we shifted somewhere else. I couldn't find a library around there at first. My first few days at that new place were very gloomy. Then one day I searched for the nearest library on internet. The nearest one was a kilometre away. This library was smaller in size but it had more books of my interest. I got more and more involved in books. Not only novels, but also non-fictional psychology books. I used to spend whole day there daily, except for Sundays. Initially mom and dad used to go there to drop me but then I started to commute alone, walking.
After coming back to India, going to a new school, I maintained my old tag of a studious nut. I kept studying and working hard to gain what I have got now- admission in psychology honours. And here I am in college library- as alone as ever, as studious as ever. This is what fun has always meant to me- reading. This is what I have always called my best friends- my books. And this is what I am happy being- a studious nut..
PS- Every reader might not be a leader, but every leader must be a reader.