THE BOOK THAT IMPRESSED ME
Reading gives to all a life-long pleasure. It gives as instruction an inspiration. There are books on science, philosophy, biography, autobiography, history and religion. Ruskin divides the books into two classes. There are books of the moment and books of all time.
I am impressed most by the book “The Story of My Experiments with Truth”, the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi. It is a book of all time. This great book has inspired and influenced millions of people all over the world. Many people have written autobiographies. But Gandhiji’s autobiography is unique in two ways. One is the author utter humility. The other is his absolute honesty. The title of the book itself is clear evidence of these two aspects. Gandhiji does not speak about his achievement in life. He claims to have done only a few experiments in life. The aim of these experiments was to find out the truth. He does not claim to have found out the truth. He has made some efforts in that direction. This is a clear evidence of the great humility of this noble soul.
People often present a bright picture of themselves in their autobiographies. They usually omit the ugly part of their lives. Their sole aim is earn fame and name and thereby get an immortal place in the minds of the readers. They are afraid to speak out their faults and shortcomings lest they should be misunderstood by people. But Gandhiji has done something different in his book. He has used his autobiography for confessing all his faults. He has depicted himself as an ordinary man with all his faults, and not as a saint. He pointed out that, in his boyhood he had stolen a piece of gold belonging to his sister-in-law. He confesses that, as a boy, he smoked and tried to eat meat. He admits his inability to suffer anger. He openly declares his moral weaknesses and his inability to overcome passions. He has openly confessed that he had assaulted his wife many a time and ignored her opinions and desires. No other great man has ever confessed his flaws as Gandhiji has. This shows his extreme honesty.
Gandhiji’s humility and honesty, as depicted in the book, give it charm and beauty. His faith in God is revealed in every page of this book. He describes prayers as his chief weapon. He admits that his successes in life were due to God’s mercy and not because of his capacity. Thus, this book is a source of inspiration and moral guidance to anyone who goes through it.