Our budget dilemma was short-lived as my mom managed to find out a way through this obstacle. Saving Rs 30 to buy the next book from the Vasan series may take some time, maybe a couple of months as she was yet to figure out and decide which expenses to cut and how to cut them so that she could at least get me one book of Vasan per month or in the worst case, at least every alternate month.

However, she could surely save Rs 6 extra with relative ease and with Rs 6, we can buy the monthly magazine called Gokulam, every month without fail.

Cover of Gokulam magazine

nd this magazine too had a short story collection and also a few current affairs, crossword puzzles and general knowledge that in a way, actually improved my overall personality too and helped me look more knowledgeable in my class, in which I was beginning to get a bit of attention.

Until then, that is even towards the end of my Class 3 or the beginning of my Class 4, I was just a below-average student and wasn’t an active participant in any Co-curricular or Extra-curricular activity either. I used to occupy the last bench near one of the windows and as far as I remember, my interactions with my fellow classmates were very limited.

This could be for two reasons, maybe, because, I had nothing worthwhile to offer and secondly, a less prominent reason could be language. I could communicate in Hindi, which was our Franco lingua in class, but it wasn’t as good as the native Hindi speakers.

And as far as my English was concerned, the less I spoke about it, the better. It was of no match to the toppers in our class who could communicate in English way better than me or most of the others in our class.

Getting back to our epic of discussion, our purchases weren’t limited to just Gokulam, it sometimes was mixed with magazines like Champak, Chandamama and Wisdom as well.

And through Class 3 and 4, my reading of books slowly yet steadily improved and so was my ability to express myself in English too and I was beginning to make progress in my academics as well, in which I used to be terrible until then, particularly Hindi.

In fact, my mom learned Hindi to teach me Hindi.

The books I read during my Class 3 to 4

And seeing that I was actually invested in reading, my mom found avenues to cut the regular domestic budget and invest in my reading habits and yet again, slowly but steadily, we could buy books from Vasan (which I considered proper books) as well, and it kind of became the habit that we buy at least one of those every month along with the regular magazines of Gokulam among others.

So, we entered the new millennium with a monthly budget for my books accounting to close to Rs 50.

Some of the Vasan series that I have read

So, in all those three years, I have read most of the books from Vasan that included the following:

Akbar Birbal

Tenali Rama


Jataka Tales

Arabian Nights


World Renowned Scientists

Treasury of Children’s Stories

Wisdom Stories for the Children.

And in the due course, I begin to perform well in my academics, so much so that I was the topper for Class 4 Section A in the year 2001 in my school.

My first shot to fame in my school life was in a positive manner.

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