It was good to visit the 14th Book Fair at Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu. Bought some books as in previous years, one by J Krishnamurti, a great philosopher, two children’s literature books to give as a gift to my small brother, one about the Scared Erotic Art of Nepal and the other one ‘Like a Flowing River’ by Paulo Coelho (how could I forget him, even if I have read most of his books online and for free. I just feel like buying and reading them on print again, I feel my money was spent upon worthy object).
There were thousands and thousands of books in the book fair related to various subject matters, mostly written in English and Nepali. There were some books available in other languages as well but mostly English, it tells how English has become a common language in the modern world. Watch this interesting video: Jay Walker on the world’s English mania | Video on TED.com
That’s about a language. Now, let’s talk about the books. Language is very important part of the books. Without language, we probably can never imagine a book in its physical form. I have developed much interest in reading books than when I was a school boy. After becoming a member of British Council Library, I started reading and developed liking for it. Now, there is hardly a day that passes without reading a book. Reading books are important but what I feel is that just reading is not sufficient. Reading should not be equated with education which is completely different and has deeper implications and functions. Reading and education is not merely about the accumulation of the information, the information obtained by reading and skills obtained from education must be used for transformation, change in our attitude, mind-sets and behavior. Without transformation, education is not complete, the process is incompletely abandoned. It must be considered very unfortunate that in our Nepalese context, education is seen as merely the accumulation of the information, memorizing them and being able to recall and reproduce them through means of writing in the examinations. Education is equated with literacy. We have failed to emphasize upon the transformation aspect which is the most important part of the learning. It is a reason why we meet so many educated, stupid, and insensitive people who are happy about obtaining the degrees and certificates and never applying them for the changes. Such persons are arrogant and difficult to work with because they call themselves educated but they don’t really understand the point. One of my friends who went to volunteer outside Kathmandu was complaining that these educated but stupid people are so hard to convince, they dont really get our points, so hard to deal with them. I have also faced similar situations before. My point here is merely reading books and collecting them is of little value unless we act upon the information and transform our mind and behaviour which has an impact upon the environment.