Books that changed my life
By Preethi Ann Thomas - CHENNAI
03rd September 2012 12:00 AM
My journey with books began as early as I can remember with fairy tales and Enid Blyton novels,” begins Ambika Kameshwar. “I had a good balance of story books, comics and spiritual reading. I’ve had the good fortune of being exposed to an understanding of the goodness and grandeur of spiritual thought and how it expands into the joy of each moment,” she explains.
Ambika read everything from Secret Seven, Famous Five, Malory Towers, The Twins at St Clares, and spiritual stories from Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, parables from Sri Ramakrisha, Ramayana for children and Vedanta through stories. They all highlighted qualities like goodness, kindness and development of inner strength, believes this dancer. And what childhood would be complete without Archie and his gang, Richie Rich, Phantom and Mandrake, Casper, the friendly ghost and Amar Chitra Kathas?
Later on she went on to discover Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Earl Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason series along with Agatha Christie’s novels. “Kamala Subramaniam’s Mahabharata and Ramayana and later, books like Day by Day with Bhagavan (Ramana), Sparks from The Divine Anvil (on Chandrashekhara Bharathi MahaSwami (a book that I could just not put down) and Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, the Upanishads and The Bhagavad Gita became her spiritual diet. Her academic syllabus too covered classics like Shakespeare and poetry by Milton and Keats, as well as books on natya and theatre.
Coming from a family that loves reading and writing, her father and sister have written many books. Her husband is a writer and she loves reading and revisiting his travel-based novels. “Currently, I am deliberating on my reading of Kaivalyopanishad. I also read the Gita everyday,” she concludes.
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