The lockdown finally gave Rajesh Narain Gupta, Managing Partner, SNG and Partners some uninterrupted free time and let him engage the bibliophile within.
He told ET Panache, “I have finally found the time and space to read some interesting books which I could not do earlier due to a busy schedule. Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony has been an outstanding piece of literary work. Jahangir by Parvati Sharma is a well-written and researched book which provides key insights into the life, times and the reign of well-known Moghul ruler Jahangir. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I believe that the Mahabharata remains the greatest tale told to mankind and everytime we read it, it offers a fresh perspective of human nature and emotions. JAYA — An illustrated retelling of the Mahabharta written by Devdutt Pattanaik is an engrossing publication which I could not put down once I took it up. It is an interesting piece of work containing a web of stories written within stories and I would highly recommend it to any book lover wanting to get a better understanding of Indian mythology.”
It is said that a book is a friend for life and a teacher for eternity. Every book that Gupta read has shaped his lite uniquely and provided it with a ditferent dimension and learning.
“Reading the Elephant Whisperer was a mind-opening experience for me. It made me realise that animals are also sensitive, emotional and have their thought processes. Reading this book taught me to be kind and patient to animals and not treat them inferior to humans and understand that they have a unique position within the natural ecosystem and are part of this earth. After reading the book, I felt as if mankind has been cruel to them and has encroached upon their natural habitat. Though we say that wild animals trespass in our territories, it is actually the other way round,” he said.
Reading about Jahangir has made Gupta aware of the transient nature of life and taught him that nothing is permanent in our finite existence on this earth.
“It also taught me the importance of religious tolerance and realising that unbridled ambitions could do more harm than good. It brought me to terms with the fact that life has much to offer only if we seek the right things in the proper manner. A lifetime spent in serving greed, pursuing ambition and fighting battles can make us lose sense anddirection. It swerves us from the path of a meaningful life,” he said.
To a greater extent Gupta’s professional lite can draw its inspiration from JAYA. “It has an interesting ensemble of characters like the Pandavas, Kauravas and Krishna, unarguably the greatest philosopher on this earth. Also many other Gods, Goddesses and Rishis enlighten us on the meaning of life, living and human existence,” he said.
Books are a man’s best friend. Every book is an institution within itself and has the potential to change your mindset and personality.
He said, “In these times, engaging with great literary works of art has given a new shape and perspective to my life. It has helped me remain focussed, in control and acted as a much-needed buffer from the outside chaos and stress. It has helped me remain balanced in times of tension and has helped broaden my vision and knowledge.”
Gupta has been an avid reader. Other than the routine legal books which he reads to keep updated about professional knowledge, he makes it a point to read books from the fiction and non-fiction genre on a daily basis.
“Apart from relaxing my mind, it helps me delve into an unknown, fascinating world where the situations and characters are different and interesting. We also tend to draw parallels with those situations and characters and it helps our mind to disengage from the daily grind. They help you to keep stress and anxiety at bay and build your mental resilience and tenacity to face life with a renewed vigor,” he said.
Gupta belongs to the old school of book lovers. The crispness of the paperback book and the fresh smell of the pages still excite him. “In my free time, I like to relax with a book held in my hand and flip the pages in an unhurried manner. The thought ot waking up with a book on my chest is an appealing feeling. I believe that if I read ebooks with the same passion and intensity, I might start reading them more often. To be honest, I have not been a frequent reader of ebooks,” he ended.