Thu, 18 Jul, 2024

Books That Shaped Them

By Aakankshya Shrestha

  I heard somewhere or most probably read somewhere that you learn something either by going through the experience or by reading about it. It is true that books can teach us a valuable lesson but it depends on the person who reads the book whether to implement its lesson or not. Reading the right book at the right time can certainly change one’s life. Here is what some readers have to say.

Hitesh Karki, Chief Academic Officer, DWIT

Frankly, it's pretty difficult to tell. I was never into reading books until I joined college. It's not that I never read books in school but I only did so because I was compelled to rather than out of interest. One book that completely changed my perception about books was "Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, the book I read during my first year of undergrad study. Dostoyevsky is a Russian novelist. It was only after reading this book I truly began appreciating literature. The way Dostoyevsky told the story of the then Russian society, the kind of characters he had in the story was truly amazing. The book had such a huge impact that I ended up reading not just his other books but got seriously interested in books.

Bijaya Shrestha, Academic Program Officer, DWIT

I used to read a lot of biographies as I thought that reading biography was really interesting and inspiring at the same time. But after coming across a biography of former Nepalese Army General Rookmangud Katwal, I realized that reading biography was a really foolish thing to do. After reading that book I felt that one or many things in the book were fabricated. I realized that reading a biography of a person doesn’t show you the real picture of the person. Those people who write biographies, they can hide the ugly parts of the subject’s life and only write about their good parts but in every person’s life there are good parts and there are ugly parts. After coming to this conclusion, I stopped reading biographies. The thing is reading a book can be invigorating and motivating at the time we are reading it. After finishing the book, we go back to our daily and mundane lives.

Abhishek Gupta '16, Senior Student

‘The One Minute Manager’ by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson is the book that has been influential in my managerial habit, often when I am assigned to lead a team. This book is a short book, written in fiction, like an allegorical story that packs a real, simple, and practical method that one can apply to be a productive and effective manager. I read this book about six months ago, and after that, the way on how I conduct things and deal with my teammates has taken a significant drift. Often I am assigned to lead a team and whenever I talk to my fellow team players, the book keeps reminding me to be a manager who keeps aside the inflated feeling of pride and superiority and focuses on results and people at the same time. I must say that this book is very well written, I ardently feel that the core message of the book is loud and clear with less philosophical verbose. With each new chapter, the core message of the book comes into much brighter space. Besides, the book is also fun to read, with a good amount of twists at the end of each chapter that makes you think, “What will happen next in the subsequent chapters?” I recommend this book to those who see a potential of being a good manager in themselves.

Giriraj Khatri '19, Sophomore Year

If there is one book that I would like to mention, then it would be "Seven habits of highly effective teens" by Sean Covey. I received this book as a gift from one of my friends in grade IX and it turned out to be the most beautiful gift ever. When you are at the most vulnerable period of your life i.e. teenage; this book will precisely help you to shape it. The seven habits - be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think win-win, seek first to understand then to be understood, synergize, and sharpen the saw - will help you in every step of your life. I still use these habits and it really helps to manage my life. If you have read it then you have read one of the best books and if you have not, then you should definitely indulge in the read.

Takdir Bartaula '19, Sophomore Student

‘Sumnima’ by Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala was a really unique read for me. It was kind of like a love story but also encompassed many other aspects of the Nepalese society, caste system, religion and even nature. Somdatta, son of a Brahmin and Sumnima, daughter of a Kirant, meet and basically fall in love with each other but they couldn’t act on their feeling due to the obligations of their caste. In order to forget Sumnima, Somdatta runs away and does all sorts of meditation but even after he marries another girl he still cannot forget her. All their lives they keep running in the same circle but never being together. After his wife dies he comes back to his village where he used to live to find trees and vegetation covering the area where his settlement used to be. Since he and his family moved away there was nobody living there and nature had reclaimed the land. It teaches us a valuable lesson that nature is a truly powerful force and whatever you take from it, it will take it back again. I feel that it is a truly powerful story of love based on the reality of caste discrimination and religious practices of our culture which has left an imprint on my mind.

Shreya Sapkota '20, Freshman Student

‘Gone with the Wind’ by Margaret Mitchel was the first classic book that I read. So far, I don't think any book has actually shaped me, but this is definitely the book that has made an impact on me. The novel dated in the 1860's has a female protagonist Scarlet O'Hara who comes off as an arrogant and selfish lady yet has the ability to capture the hearts of many of the readers. Her character, even though set in the 1860's, portrays a woman who can fend for herself, someone who doesn't give in or give up and someone who can handle hardships and responsibilities. The protagonist with her never ending determination, confidence, and her unwavering mindset has given me the aspiration that someday in the future I might be able to come off as a headstrong and independent woman like her.