Friday, August 2, 2013

Let’s learn to live; I’d say,
little by little.
Let’s learn to walk before we run
Let’s learn to run before we leap
Let’s learn to see before we witness
Let’s learn to look at the sky, the stars and then beyond
Let’s live to learn,I’d say again,
little by little

At standard 6, if I can recollect, I knew what my teacher meant when she said I was loquacious, I knew it because one of the Bronte Sisters taught me this in one of their novels. Shakespeare taught me wit and yet another famous line, which is, ‘’You speak an infinite deal of nothing,’’ which I use even now, always to my advantage.  Shakespeare in 'Hamlet' on the other hand taught me how and why to be true to oneself:

“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Shakespeare has taught me a lot actually, he hovers around my opinion and my understanding of my day and twists them to his advantage always.

Virginia Woolf taught me on how to be a woman in a man’s world, Joan Didion taught me a great deal about self-respect. Milan Kundera is still teaching me about myself as a being and life that sometimes is unbearable. Ogden Nash, taught me how to laugh. The list still continues and would never end. And these writers and their thoughts are still with me everyday changing and developing my views on life.

It has been a long journey. Now for a twenty-seven year old woman, a journalist by profession, comparably I speak much, I know much, dream much consequently breathe much. There is confidence in me as I know that the world around me is a battle of wits and I am not unarmed. I am a woman of this world. I can creatively express my opinion effortlessly. Had I not read would my life be different? Yes, it would have been. Difficult, oblique and deliberately inarticulate. But, this all happened because I can read and my need for books has been met with a constant supply of good books.withIt all started at a very young age Dr Suess, Enid Blyton, Lewis Carroll, Roald Dahl, Dickens and many more and it started at the right age.

Coming to think of it, I feel I have been very privileged and I belonged to that group that ‘Have’. On a more prolonged and deeper thought I felt that maybe there are many more Joyeeta’s who probably do not belong to the ‘Have’ group but are desperately seeking the opportunity to read good books and get inspired. Inspiration comes from good content and it is, in my opinion, everyone’s right to get that good content.

And I quite agree to Rohini Nilekani when she says that there should be a book for every child. I see that this woman and her NGO has gone a long way to get good books in English and other regional languages out there into the some of the most poorest nooks across the country. Putting books out there for the creative commons so that they can be shared without proprietary walls is an intelligent way to spread knowledge far and beyond. Spreading knowledge in such a way is like creating more power and like light it continues to spread and again creates more power.  One more thing that I loved about her concept was the power of creative collaboration and collaborative creation. I fully back Pratham’s dream to see a country where every child wants to read, is able to read, and has something good to read because I believe that reading good content empowers.

I feel that everyone should participate in a cause like this which involves nothing more than the love for reading and spreading knowledge. Another initiative taken up by Pratham which is the Read India Movement, which is – create story books, publish them, sell them, and spread their reach across the length and breadth of India so that they can find their way into the hands of a young child who wants to read. The idea, I believe is novel and we should participate by collaborating. Let us support the cause. Let us learn to live by giving a little.

Do watch this inspiring video:

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Franklin Templeton Investmentspartnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012.