Books that changed my life
By Preethi Ann Thomas | Published: 24th December 2012 12:00 AM |
The first chaired professor in intellectual property law at the Ministry of Human Resource Development, WB
National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, Shamnad Basheer, admits he is a story teller himself, but the book that influenced him the most was certainly Gandhiji’s My experiments with truth. “I’ve read it a dozen times and it never ceases to amaze me that a mainstream national and political figure of that day could expose his failings in so honest a manner. The book continues to remain the best posterchild for the proposition that our pursuit for truth is best served by a constant engagement with the experiential. If we are are to transcend our material snares and reach for the infinite, we have to continuously experiment with ourselves and move beyond an armchair discussion of ideas and ideology,” opines Basheer.
Another work that left a lasting impact on him was William Goldings’ Lord of the Flies. He recalls it as “extremely vivid and well written, evoking an imagery like no other. It offered haunting insights into human nature. I find it extremely relevant to our current debates on the individual versus the collective and the role of rules/laws/norms,” says the 36-year-old who founded several initiatives like SpicyIP, IDIA, P-PIL and Lex Biosis. He continues,
“Given my spiritual leanings, a 12th century Persian book by Farid Ud-Din Attar (translated), Conference of the Birds, was an extremely creative narrative of a bunch of birds in search of the legendary Simgarh, an allegory for our relentless pursuit of a higher ideal.” He also explains how gripped he was by Yann Martel’s Life of Pi — “mesmerising, messing with my head and offering the possibility of an alternate reality.”