The knowledge obtained from books is imperfect in several aspects. It is dull and much of it is not really digested. Unless, it is supplemented and modified by the wisdom gained from experience, it is misleading and sometimes dangerous. This is not to underestimate the importance of books. After all, the knowledge contained in books is based on experience. But experience is endless and we must constantly modify bookish knowledge in the light of personal experience.

If we visit historical places like Agra, Bijapur, the ruins of Hampei and the caves of Ajanta and Ellora, what we have learnt about these places from the text books of history will take on life, color and vividness. There can be no better way at learning the geography of different countries than actually visiting them and understanding them firsthand.

We know the meanings of several phrases and proverbs in a vague, general manner. Then we personally experience the truth contained in them, we discover their meaning afresh and they cease to be a safe and common place. How often do we repeat the familiar proverb “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” We really understand its truth only when we are deserted by our so-called friends in times of adversity.

The lessons learnt from experience will not be forgotten. If you tell a lie and consequently find yourself in a tight corner, you are not likely to repeat your mistake in the future. Certain bitter experiences-failure and sufferings-make us realize our errors and shortcomings and thus, teach us to improve ourselves.

Tanishka Raju


AVM, Juhu