I am fond of reading books. Whenever I come across a good book, I go in for it. I like biographies. I have read scores of biographies but I like the autobiography of Pt. Nehru the most. It is Pt. Nehru's masterpiece.
The book was published several years back but it is still selling like hot-cakes. It has been translated into several languages of the world. The style is lucid, simple and natural. The language is sweet, idiomatic and interesting. Every sentence is gripping, every word is well chosen and every new chapter is more thrilling than the preceding one.
I got it as a birthday present from my uncle. It is my most precious treasure. I am jealous of it. I read it over and over again. Each time I read it, I find a new joy, a new charm and a new thrill. Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru was the only son of his father who was a leading lawyer of his time.
He was rolling in wealth. Young Jawahar was brought up in the lap of luxury. He was taught by an English governess privately at home and then he went to England for higher studies. He was not a book worm but well-informed.
He sat and moved in the company of the sons of Lords and Peers of the United Kingdom. He did not suffer from any inferiority complex in their company. He was in no way less than they. He was their equal in studies debates, games and sports. He qualified himself for the Bar.
He returned to India, a full-fledged barrister but instead of taking to Law, he took to Politics. He was attracted by Mahatma Gandhi. He was conquered once for all. He plunged himself heart and soul into the freedom movement of the country.
The father followed the son, the mother, too, followed suit and the wife did not lag behind. All the four gave up all comforts and courted imprisonment for various terms. The death scenes of his father, mother and wife move one to tears but they failed to shake brave Jawahar from his resolve. At last the blood of martyrs bore fruit.
India won her long lost freedom. Brave Jawahar was chosen as the first Prime Minister of India. He enhanced the prestige of India. India has taken her proud place in the comity of nations. India's voice is heard with respect in the Councils of the World. It is all due to Nehru's sincerest efforts that India is progressing in all directions with rapid strides.
Such books are the life-blood of a nation. They infuse a new life and inject fresh blood into the dry bones of the nation. No son of the soil can afford to ignore them. They are a rare treasure. Such books stimulate thought and provide food for the mind. Books are not only good companions but are also wonderful playmates for the young.
They are a gateway to the world of adventure, fun and wonder. They shape our character and their influence penetrates deep down the minds. Their cold prints convey, says Kingsley, "a message to us from the human soul we never saw. And yet they arouse us, teach us, comfort us."
A good book is worth possessing, since it is "the precious life-blood of a master spirit," in the words of Milton.
Remember the famous lines of Bacon while studying books:
"Some books are to be tasted, others are to be swallowed and some to be chewed and digested." Reading of good books develops thinking which in turn should be co-ordinated with actions. 'Thought without action is abortion. Action without thought is folly', to quote the words of Nehru.