“There is no Friend as Loyal as a Book”— Ernest Hemingway
There is no friend as loyal as a book because they don’t complain, nor do they make any demands. These are words we listen, while growing up. When we are young, we don’t understand the significance of these words. However as we grow older, we understand the meaning and depth of these words.
Books have a life of their own and that life is immortal. Humans are born and death is inevitable to us, but books go on forever. Not only the books in its physical form, but it’s teaching, which lives through one generation, regains life through another generation. Books and it’s teaching, acts as a guide to a person throughout his life.
Books have gone through many forms in the process of evolution. From manuscripts in palm leaves, to writing in the bark of leaves. Inscriptions on copper plates, rocks etc acted as a source of information in ancient times. As time moved on people invented paper in the fourteenth century in China and from there book was invented. Marco Polo, a French traveller who visited China, learnt the art of printing and paper making from China. He enlightened people in France about this knowledge. From France this knowledge reached the Indian subcontinent through silk route.
In India knowledge of printing and paper making reached about the fifteenth century. It was a turning point in the culture and literature of India. Before introduction of books, the forms of entertainment were enjoyed by people in groups, but books took a revolutionary form in the world of entertainment, where in the crowd of people, one could delve into their world, the world which is created by the writing of the book, where they merge into the role of the protagonist and sees this world through the eyes of the author.
And this way slowly and steadily books became a man’s most loyal friend in India and all throughout the world. Humans are hypocritical and mercurial, their faith and hope changes as the situation around them changes. Their loyalty is as fickle as their mood swings, but books are loyal in all stages of man’s life from their birth till their death. They take you through the journey of learning, of worldly experiences. They motivate you to grow into a better version of yourself.
Today books have evolved into many genres from mythological books of Maharabharat, Ramayan to books on science and technology. From stories written by Munshi Premchand to plays and threaticals written by William Shakespeare, acknowledgment to these books have given rise to many renowned authors, and now many books have been written in them. These writers gave books a new meaning within itself where through a protagonist they showed the mass of people the journey of man, of how he falls in love, they showcased a story of heartbreak, of life of a warrior. And through them we could see the vivid life people around us lived. People could understand their society better and through them they also understood how to serve their society in better ways and introduced innovative ways.
How can we forget the contribution of the book ‘two treatises of government’ by John Locke, ‘social contract’ by Jean Jacques Rousseau and ‘The spirit of laws’ by Montesquieu in the French revolution which not only revolutionised the mantra of democracy, equality and fraternity not only in Europe but all over the world. In India too books written by Raja Rammohan Roy and other social activists open the gate to social reforms. Mooknayak and many other books written by Baba Ambedkar opened the eyes of the society to the various types of discrimination and degradation people of low caste.
In modern times the books written by Nelson Mandela, Aung Su Kyi, and many leader of the world have guided many countries of throughout the world, not only the world but books like wings of fire’ by APJ Abdul Kalam is like guide, philosopher, teacher and friends at time of distress to the young individuals.
Books from their time of invention have been inseparable part of life of humans from the age of Rigveda where there were four Vedas that is, Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajurveda, Atharva Veda, Upanishads to the modern times, they teach us, the evolve us to make us better humans, they have been the most loyal friends a man can find. In this electronic age from books we have moved to e-books and this evolution has helped people in this busy and super fast life to find time for books and keep their loyal friend at the tip of their fingers.