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Lavanya Bahuguna

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Sheenu Jhawar Shares Tips On How To Inspire Your Child To Read

  • JWB Post
  •  May 21, 2015

 

Meeting Sheenu Jhawar for the campaign ‘Aid to Maid’ impressed us beyond anything. This Jaipur woman has no television at home because she wants to promote the habit of reading in her family. Isn’t that wonderful?

Today her son is an ardent reader and has won many accolades at school for his excellent knowledge outside syllabus books. ‘But don’t mistake him for a book-worm like most of us might judge,’ remarks Sheenu. What Sheenu practices at home is a wonderful parenting tip most of us can use. Moreover, reading is the best thing one can do for the self, as they say: “Books are human’s BFF”.

We decided to meet at Sheenu’s workplace to talk more about the habit of reading.  For that, we asked her to bring ‘few’ favorite books. However, the lady turned up with 3 huge luggage bags. Defending herself, she said: ‘Well, you asked me to bring my favorites!’

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And that was the day we realized clothes are not the only thing that confuse women. Anyway, let us take you to our enriching conversation with Sheenu talking strictly about books:

JWB – From where did you pick up the habit of reading?

Sheenu – ICSE board encourages reading a lot of classics. Apart from this, my father followed a ritual during every summer break. All the kids used to get one new book each that was supposed to be read before the vacations would end.

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JWB – And how did this habit grow in your home after marriage?

Sheenu – My dear husband bought me many books during our courtship period to impress me. He didn’t have a good taste in books, but I am glad he made efforts to understand what makes me happy. Slowly, he started getting acquainted with my old collection, and today he reads more business related stuff.

We’ve never encouraged watching rubbish serials on television, rather made our son read authors from round the world. This has not only improved his vocabulary, but also the way he perceives life. What he reads is completely different from our choices. He picks books like Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Adolf Hitler, etc.

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JWB – What else did you do to help him develop the habit?

Sheenu – As a working mother, I had specific plans towards inculcating this habit in him. When he was small, I started with books with colorful pictures like ‘Amar Chitra Katha’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. I used to read with him making him pronounce tough words correctly. I remember enacting the characters in those stories and modulating my voice. This, I think, generated a fun factor. Slowly I noticed him doing the same while reading books on his own.

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JWB – Wow, that’s some awesome tips for parents.

Sheenu – I also remember reading only few pages of a story to him. This develops the eagerness to know what happens next.

JWB – From ‘Amar Chitra Katha’ to ‘Narendra Modi’, he’s taken a big leap.

Sheenu – However, I want him to read ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ one day.

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Apart from these useful parenting tips, we also encouraged Sheenu to talk about her strong relationship with books. For that we used our rapid-fire round:

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1 book ever read – ‘Little Raccoon’ in class 1

1st fiction ever read – ‘If Tomorrow Comes’ by Sidney Sheldon

1st book received as a gift – I got 2 books from my school: ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ & ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’. Both are science fiction novels by Jules Verne.

A book inherited from family – ‘Human Psychology’ series from my mother

Favorite poem – ‘To a Skylark’ by Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Life changing book – ‘The Fountainhead’ by Ayn Rand

Favorite authors – Khalid Gibran, Sidney Sheldon, Erich Segal, Richard Bach, Ayn Rand…oh the list is endless.

Best story teller – For me it’s Jeffrey Archer

Dream read – ‘Gitanjali’ by Rabindranath Tagore

One author you don’t read anymore – John Grisham

Latest love – Stephen Hawking

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Favorite Indian authors – Writers like Sudha Murthy

Favorite character – Laura Castellano from the book ‘Doctors’ by Erich Segal

Want to write a book like – ‘Notes to Myself’ by Hugh Prather.

Recommendation for JWB – ‘The Palace of Illusions’ which is written from the viewpoint of Draupadi in Mahabharata. The story shows the life of this princess married to 5 Pandavas, talking about her complicated friendship with Lord Krishna, her secret attraction to the mysterious man who is her husbands’ most dangerous enemy.

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Recommendation for every woman – ‘Round the World in 80 Days’, ‘Anne Frank’ and ‘Little Women’

Recommendation for our society – ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ by Richard Bach. The book is about hope, will power and on taking the first flight. It is a dose of power that will click with every kind of reader.

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Enriching, right? We’ve told you!

We’re glad even Sheenu loved the session with us. For her it was a nostalgic trip to yesteryears, as her Facebook status described: “What a cascade of superb charged up literary moments with Jaipur Women Blog.”

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Photographer:  Shashank K Tyagi

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