Source: Amar Ujala (17-May-2019)
Because reading is dreaming with your eyes open!When I came to know about this man, there was an epiphany of thoughts that took me with them. Out of many such thoughts, there was one which perfectly relates to a not-so famous quote by Benjamin Franklin, “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing”.And I believe the man I’m gonna introduce you to, has done something very inspiring. Only a rare portion of the youth today thinks to work for the betterment of the society and this man took an initiative to make things work in their own ways.
Amrut Deshmukh, a Mumbai-based former CA who introduced people with an initiative called as ‘Make India Read’ will surely give you major reading goals. In fact, many ladies would soon start reading more books after knowing his story, fact check: He’s handsome too!Jokes apart, along with his ‘Tall, dark and handsome looks’, he’s definitely inspiring the youth to read more and more books and simplifying their tasks. In his app Booklet, he provides people with the summary of a particular book every week. I’m sure you’re now pretty much excited to know more about him. So, why wait? Let’s delve into his life and look at some lesser known facts about him.Amrut is an avid reader now but he was not like that in his childhood days. At times, his brother used to trick him by telling his friends to bring only ‘books’ on Amrut’s birthday and that always made Amrut angry.Had his brother not been there, he wouldn’t have been always surrounded by the stories of Akbar-Birbal, Sherlock Holmes, Chacha Chaudhary etc. As the time passed by, he started loving these books. And he now owes his brother for cultivating such a good habit in him ever since his childhood days.Well, on being a CA Amrut seemed a bit uncertain. On this, he said, “Maybe I joined looking my crush joining CA. I had this misconception that CA’s usually get beautiful wives! So I got CA degree but I never enjoyed taxation and auditing. Because the ‘Why’ of my life was not clear. After I read a book called ‘Start with Why’ by Simon Sinek, I started searching for the purpose of my life.”
On one fine day when he went with his friend to watch ‘Bahubali’, they were 15 minutes early to the theater and so he casually started giving a gist of a book to his friend that he recently read. Listening to his narrative style, his friend really appreciated him and suggested him if he could read other stories for him some time as it’s great to hear stories when you don’t get enough time to read. At that moment, Amrut got his purpose of life.The very next moment, Amrut took the idea of his friend with utter seriousness. Although his friend said it casually and was engrossed in the movie he says he couldn’t stop himself from acting upon such a brilliant thought. He decided to leave the theater at that time and spent days and nights to execute the idea within a week.Amrut being a non-IT guy hardly had any knowledge of developing a website or an app. It was then the words of TT Rangarajan from his book “Unposted Letter” echoed in his mind – “It’s not important what you have. It’s important what you DO with what you have.” He decided that he’d do something that he can, from the available resources like WhatsApp. He started sharing a book summary every week to his close friends on WhatsApp and asked them to share with their friends. Within 2 weeks he got 1000 more requests. By looking at such a massive response, he named it as mission “Make India Read”.
Amrut went through a book ‘India 2020’ by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam where he has mentioned about his dream to see India as a developed nation by the year 2020. Amrut thought if by being digital, he could inspire the youth anywhere in the world to read books, that would be a small drop in the ocean to make Mr. Kalam’s dream come true. And this is how the mission “Make India Read” was born.Through a survey, Amrut realized that only 10% were actually reading his summaries! As usual, people passed the messages but never realized that they actually should read it along with sharing. He was heavily disappointed. His whole idea to help people read a bigger book in just 20 mins was not at all going as per the plan.Thereafter another idea shot and he straight away bought a microphone and started recording the summaries in his own voice. He started sharing the summaries on WhatsApp in text and audio form. People started listening to it even when they were busy traveling, jogging and other activities. After a huge success and WhatsApp crash due to 1 lakh readers, he asked his IT friends to help him and finally, on World Book Day, he came up with a free app ‘Booklet’.Amrut agrees to it! He says that we look at our mobile screen 126 times in a day and are now into the “Screen-age.” So there is no point in forcing the youth to adhere to the old style of reading with a book in their hands. For that, options like Audible, Kindle, podcasts, epub and of course Booklet App etc are available in the market.Elderly people say that the youth of India is not reading anymore. Amrut disagrees to this point as he believes that they are definitely reading, but the fed with the wrong stuff. Thus, on his part, he’s trying to spread some productive stuff by sharing book summaries on WhatsApp. He believes that if people get time for Facebook, then they surely get time for a book too.After becoming a qualified CA, Amrut was super excited to ‘make money’. He joined in a firm related to the stock markets but soon realized that even after making ample amount of money, he went to bed dissatisfied every night. Money was not the thing that excited him any longer! He wanted a passion in his life. Meanwhile discovering his purpose, he started reading about ‘Social Entrepreneurship’. He quit his job and started teaching CA students for free.
On asking him what are his personal favorite books, he said: “Sorry, I can’t name just one. ‘Eat That Frog’ by Brian Tracy, ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ by Spencer Johnson, ‘Influence’ by Robert Cialdini, ‘Ignited Minds’ by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, ‘Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho and I think I should hold back here.the list goes on and on.”As of now, Amrut enjoys writing book summaries for India. But he says that he has certain future plans in writing and would love to write a book. He is much opined by the idea that once a person acquires enough knowledge and wisdom, he can think of writing a book. Amrut on his part is waiting to attain that stage.With zero investments, Amrut took his Booklet app to a particular summit. It now has about 3 lakh enthusiasts. His next target is to reach out to rural India and start book summaries in Hindi as well. In fact, to make the kids of India read, he’s coming up with another app called ‘Grandma’s Booklet’ mission.Through his ideations, he believes, reading will become as addictive as CandyCrush. And WittyFeed wishes you all the best in your future aspirations.Dear readers, I firmly believe that if bad habits are addictive, then good habits are contagious too. Well, I’m totally inspired by this man and in a great mood to start a book right away.Please like, share and comment in the section below if you have anything to say.