From Winnie the Pooh to Angry River, from Tenida to Feluda, from Noddy to Ugly Duckling — bookworms from school and colleges share their all-time favourites.
The fonts were small. The books were thick. And I wasn’t an avid reader then. Yet, I managed to read Tenida Samagra by Narayan Gangopadhyay and Mama Samagra by Sanjib Chattopadhyay as a child. I used to laugh so hard reading those. Tenida’s hilarious adventures with his friends never failed to tickle my funny bone. Mama Samagra, on the other hand, was my companion on hot summer afternoons. I remember reading it and failing to control the laughter that came with each page. The simplicity and hilarity of those tales made them most attractive. I would love to re-read them and I am sure they would still make me laugh.
— Debanjali Pathak, first year, Bachelor of Arts, Grinnell College, Iowa, USA
The one book I can go back to even today is Angry River by Ruskin Bond. Children usually love stories with happy endings. I, too, was fond of such books until one day I picked up Angry River in my school library. What attracted me most was how it didn’t hide any of the uncomfortable truths of life. This book talked about how life always gets disrupted in some way or the other and we have to face it. Showing up no matter how hard it gets, accepting loss, overcoming hurdles but most importantly keeping faith are the reasons why this children's book is my favourite.
— Sudarshana Mitra, Class X, The BSS School, Kolkata
If you live to be a 100, I want to live to be a 100 minus one day so I never have to live without you. — Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A Milne.
Back when I was a kid, I always found Winnie-the-Pooh fascinating. The author has beautifully created a story with so many characters and the best part is that none of them is left behind, every character gets equal importance. The bright colourful pages and all-time- cute characters left a permanent impression on my mind.
What still attracts me is that every story in this book can be read independently. The plots do not carry over. This is one of the few books I never get enough of.
— Palak Gupta, first year, BTech Computer Science Engineering, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT), Bhubaneswar
My friends call me a bookworm as I have always loved books. I would like to keep The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen at the top of my childhood favourites list. I always found a link between this story and the real world. Everything different is believed to be wrong and it is hard to function in a world where nobody understands those who are different in some way. Probably, that is the reason why body-shaming is a major issue in today’s society. This story at a very young age taught me that external looks are not important and being different is fine.
— Sneha Dey, Class XI, Science, DPS Ruby Park, Kolkata
The very first book that comes to mind is Panchatantra by Vishnu Sharma. Soon after grasping basic reading skills, I was gifted this collection of animal fables. The pictures of various animals attracted me. The stories helped me imbibe morals for life. As I grew up, I was introduced to Tenali Raman, The Famous Five and The Secret Seven by Enid Blyton. Flipping through the pages of these books is always a nostalgic ride.
— Tanusree Saha, second year, BSc, Zoology, Jogamaya Devi College, Kolkata
Since my childhood, I have loved reading. I am addicted to the smell of a new book. As a child, I remember reading the enchanting stories of Thakurmar Jhuli by Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumder. Later, I went on to Sukumar Ray's Pagla Dashu, Satyajit Ray's Feluda, and Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury's Chhotoder Ramayan. Even now, I love to read these books as they bring back those colourful days.
— Rohini Ray, Class XII, Science, Patha Bhavan, Kolkata
When I was a year, old my mother would read to me children's books like The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, and Noddy by Enid Blyton. Growing up, The Jungle Book became my favourite. The story of an orphaned boy left in the jungle, who grew up cuddling with wolves, was heart-warming Even now, when I visit a bookstore, I stop at the children's section first and flip through the big books with little writing but lots of huge colourful pictures.
— Ritaja Bandyopadhyay, first year, BA, Psychology, South Calcutta Girls’ College