My laziness in writing regularly was ignited frequently by people who gave positive feedback after reading my articles and books. Positive feedback from readers is a great encouragement to authors. Latest among them was Pratishta, a 15 year old girl. While I was in Agra city to give a seminar for a large group of parents in a school, Pratishta came with her father to meet me. “When my daughter came to know from someone who participated in your seminar she was insisting me to take her to meet you. She is your fan,” said Shrivastava, Pratishta’s father. These words gave me a ‘celebrity’ feeling for a moment.
With great excitement Pratishta started speaking holding one of my books, “Burn Books, Burn Brains” in her hand. She explained how she contacted an auto rickshaw driver with a difference in Bombay about whom she read in the book. She also said that she has read my three other books also. Her father explained how Pratishta has made reading her passion along with her studies. I was edified to see a young student who has taken up reading books as her passion. “Reading inspiring books gives direction to my life,” saying this she asked me to write a message on the pages of the book which she had brought along with her. Before leaving she said, “Today is a great day for me because I could meet you personally.”
I was convinced of the power of writing and how it can influence the lives of hundreds of people whom I never knew personally. Occasional encounters of readers like Pratishta once again ignited fire within to be creative. Preoccupation with the responsibilities of organizing various events and frequent travels to interior regions of the country for seminars had made me lazy to write regularly. Meeting and interacting with Pratishta once again challenged and motivated me to take up writing regularly. Once again writing became a mission and passion for me. It was ‘Pratishta effect’! Once again, I realized the Divine within and the miracles which can take place when I maximize the same.
Often people make excuses of not having time to read. They should realize the fact that God gives equal amount of time to all human beings. There is no inequality with regard to the distribution of time is concerned. The success of life depends on how one uses every fraction of a second in the best possible way. The scientists, saints, authors and all persons who left a legacy behind them had only 24 hours a day. They made use of each fraction of a second.
Daily life offers abundant opportunities to explore and experiment new possibilities. A vast majority of people are not able to make use of these opportunities they get because they are enslaved by the unproductive routine activities. The routine life brings stagnation in all aspects of life. Mental and spiritual paralyses do not allow persons to go beyond the familiar. The worst effect of this paralysis is developing negative thinking and prejudiced attitude towards anything and anyone who comes up with innovative ideas and ventures.
Developing a taste and habit of reading would once again revitalize the mental and spiritual faculties. The life of great men and women from all walks of life could ignite the minds and recharge persons. My experiment of presenting inspiring books to friends on different occasions was always proved effective. During the last Diwali I gifted the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi, “My Experiments with Truth” to more than fifty Hindu friends instead of the usual packet of sweets and dry fruits. 95 percent of these ‘important people’ of the city had not read this book. I made this experiment to counter the negative propaganda by the Hindutva groups against Mahatma Gandhi. Today these fanatic groups are presenting Nathuram Godse, the one who assassinated him, as a patriot and erecting his statues. The effect of my new initiative was very positive. Now I keep copies of this book to gift persons on special occasions. This is more economical than offering sweets and flowers.
The spiritual and intellectual bankruptcy happens due to lack of contemplation. Contemplation becomes an enriching experience only when people are aware of the socio-political scenario and draw insights from them. The insights drawn from contemplation should be applied to our personal life and community mission. This process will enable persons and communities to take new resolutions and policies. When people stop this process of contemplation, resolution and application they have no other option except copy the unproductive routine ways without making any impact on any one.
(Published on 26th June 2017, Volume XXIX, Issue 26)