Today I am expressing myself inspired by weekly prompt on #Indispire and it gives me a chance to remember a few of the books I loved to read. Though it is a fact that since long, I am not doing much of reading but some great books that I had read long back, I keep some parts or characters from them every now and then.
It is true that as per the weekly prompt I am required to mention one book only, that I want to read again and again, but to be honest, books keep educating us in many ways, they make us rich from inside, at heart and different books give their indelible impressions on the reader at different times.
So I would start with mentioning about some books in short and then in the end would announce the book I put under this heading, like winners are announced! Though there are no winners or losers in books, they all make us winners.
To start with I would like to mention the books of Munshi Prem Chand Ji- Gaban, Godan and so many story books, which contain stories like- Hamid, Bade ghar ki beti, bade bhai sahib, Namak ka Daroga and what not! Munshi Prem Chand Ji have perhaps made the single largest contribution to Hindi Literature, though there are many others including- Rahul Sanskritaayan Ji, Jainendra Kumar Ji etc.
I was very much impressed by the works of modern Hindi writers- Nirmal Verma Ji, Mohan Rakesh Ji, Kamleshwar Ji and many more.
Agyey Ji (Sachidanand Hiranand Vatsyayan- the full name) have made great contribution in the fields of –poetry, stories and novels. His novel- ‘Shekhar ek Jeevni’ is great book.
To mention some great works in Bengali- Gurudev Ravindra Nath Tagore Ji had made a great contribution. He was the only Indian in the field of literature I think who got the noble prize. I remember one of his short stories, in English- ‘The home coming’, a story about a teenager boy, I wept every time the climax of that story came.
Sharat Chandra Ji was a great Bengali writer, Tara Shanker Bandhyopadhyaay another great Bengali writer. I was very much impressed by his novel- ‘Gan Devta’, I read it long back but some of its characters I still remember – the hero ‘Debu Mukherjee’ , Lohar Bahu, Chhiru paal etc. and above all two poor boys- Fatinga and Gobra. Whenever I see a very young serving tea etc. in a restaurant or road side tea-stall, I remember these characters.
The list would go on and on, there are great writers in all Indian languages, I just mentioned a few that I had read and instantly came to my memory.
I also remember Maxim Gorkey’s ‘Mother’, where the main character, the mother tells people to make sacrifices, saying that- ‘Nothing can be worse than the life we are living’. This was with reference to the living conditions in Russia at that time.
So there are many books that have made great impact on my life and on lives of many people. But there is something beyond comparison! Where the canvas is so big, message is so pure and pious that these are above all we can say.
Two such epic books come to my mind as such, one is Bhagvad Gita, I can not claim that I have read it in full, though I wish that sometime I should do that, but I think there is nobody around who has not heard many of the teaching, meanings of shlokas from Gita, people keep quoting them every now and then, without even knowing that these are from Gita! Yes it is a Godly book, but I am not mentioning as my best read, as I have not formally read it.
Now I would just like to declare that ‘Sri Ramcharitmaanas’ by Goswami Tulsi das Ji is the book, we call ‘granth’ in Hindi which I feel has changed the life of not only me but thousands of people. There are other books also written on the story of Lord Rama, including the good old ‘Ramayan’ by Rishi Balmiki Ji, but I consider in RamcharitMaanas, the way Tulsi Das Ji has presented the story, with no negative parts, like ‘Sita Banvaas’ (sendin Sita Ji to exile) It is a great work. Written with utmost faith in Lord Rama, it inspires everybody and the poetical presentation in easy to read, rhydmic Awadhi language, it is a masterpiece.
People often use some lines from the text to spread negative things, like – ‘Dhol,Ganwaar, Shudra, pashu, Naari- ye sab taadan ke adhikaari’ (The drum, Village folk, lower caste person, animals and ladies- they all deserve to get thrashed). Now this sentence is spoken by the samudra (sea) when Lord Rama asked him to give way. It is one of the ideas which is express but it is not said by Lord Rama.
In RamCharitMaanas whatever Lord Rama said or did is ideal. Other persons, even his brother Laxman are not ideal. Laxman can be considered an ideal younger brother, like Bharat. He abuses his mother also for sending Lord Rama to exile. He says for him Lord Rama only is the Teacher (Guru), Father and mother, everything for him and he can’t live away from him.
As much as one reads the great epic, he becomes more and more impressed by it. When I listen to the acts and devotion of Hanuman Ji in Sundar Kaand, I normally have tears rolling from my eyes.
There are lovely verses regarding various seasons and their comparison with people of different kinds. There is a very good psychological test Lord Rama takes of his team before he attacks Lanka, when he asks about the ‘black spot’ in the moon and different people express their own frustrations in the name of moon, also abuse moon without reason but Hanuman Ji says that ‘Lord, moon is your beloved disciple and there is your image visible in his heart’. So a truly devoted person considers others also like himself. He does not have to envy or hate anybody.
I could go on discussing the great impact this Epic makes on people so I would like to say that ‘Sri Ram Charit Maanas’ by Goswami Tulsi Das Ji has touched my soul the most and I love to read and listen to it, again and again.
That’s all for this submission.