The Hindu Newspaper - Played a Vital Role in My Writing Life

An encounter with a Newspaper
By Philip Verghese Ariel

I was an avid reader of newspapers since my childhood especially in the Malayalam language (My Mother tongue). At the age of 12 onwards I used to read English newspapers and magazines which I collected from my elder sister who was a Staff Nurse working in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Whenever she visits home town on vacation she used to bring some English news papers and magazines for me. The Hindu, The Express, Readers Digest and the Illustrated Weekly of India are some among them.

After giving those newspapers and weeklies she used to tell me, "Read these loudly and carefully, though you may not understand it initially don't give up, read, read and read. She said one more thing read the Bible regularly in Malayalam and in English. Take one verse from the English Bible and then read the same verse from the Malayalam Bible." This suggestion I followed very religiously from that time on. And the slogan of 'Read, Read, and Read' implanted in my mind and I took that very seriously and started reading all kinds of things and the Bible.

Here one more thing I wanted to mention is that my grandmother (mother's mother) too was a voracious reader of the Bible. I had a vague memory of this, later I heard from my mother about her mother's reading habit. My mother too is a serious reader of the Bible. You can read more about my reading habits here in this link:

By the way let me say a word about our big family. We are five brothers and two sisters. Four of us (brothers) were at home with our parents, rest of the three one elder brother and two elder sisters were away from home and was staying outside the state on employment).

In my village at that time English papers were not common. My father was an employee of a sugar factory (Travancore Sugars and Chemicals Ltd), later it was known as Pamba River Factory; initially this was fully managed by British officials. My father studied up to high school and was able to converse in English with some of these English officers. This made him to have a close acquaintance with those people. My father worked as a carpenter and quite often he need to visit these officers' houses as part of his job. Knowing my keen interest in reading, my Dad while returning home most of the time borrow and brings some English newspapers and magazines from those officers' houses.

So this way I was acquainted with the Hindu newspaper since my childhood. I think this was the only English newspaper we get in our village on those days. At the age of 12 onwards I used to read this paper and note down some hard words especially from its editorial pages in my notebook.

In the year 1976 when I was doing my journalism course in Rajendraprasd Institute of communication and Management (Bhavan's college, Hyderabad) our principal, Freedom fighter late Mr. V.H. Desai suggested us to read the Hindu newspaper especially its editorials. Though he was a regular reporter and contributor to some other newspapers and magazines he suggested us to refer this newspaper and its editorials. From that time onwards it was my regular practice to read its editorial carefully. I too started following my principal's footsteps and started telling others about this paper and its credentials. Few of my relatives and friends are now shifted to this national newspaper.

At present I am working as an Associate Editor of an English bi-monthly, also contribute to the publications in English and in Malayalam. Now I am a regular contributor to different publications in print and online media. Many of my write-ups fetched prizes and many of them published in special page columns.

The Hindu newspaper or its style of telling the story (journalism) played a vital role in my life, especially in my writing experience.
Let me take this opportunity to thank its editorial team for the relentless service they render to the society and the readers day in and day out.
(The writer can be reached at:
Philip Verghese Ariel Founder and CEO at Philipscom

A freelance writer, editor and a blogger from Kerala. Now based at Secunderabad, Telangana, India. Can reach at: pvariel(@)Gmail [.] Com
Tel: 09700882768