I am a purely theoretical person.
I got the reading habit very early in life, maybe when I was about 10 years old ( I have crossed 68 now ). Even now I read several hours every day ( though the internet is of great help now in getting a lot of knowlege).
I was very good in games in my youth. I played a lot of football ( my favourite game ), hockey, cricket, tennis, badminton, table tennis, swimming, and even boxing, in school, college and University.
But what I really enjoyed, and still enjoy most is reading, for which I have a passion.
I am a loner in life, not a very social person, and books became my greatest companions. While reading I am transported to a different world.
I started going to libraries very early in life. In Allahabad, while I was in the University ( 1963-1967) I used to spend several hours reading in the Public Library in Alfred Park, and I also visited other libraries. In Chennai, where I went as the Chief Justice of Madras High Court in 2004, I regularly went to the Madras University library, and borrowed books to read from there. In Delhi, where I came in 2005, and where I have been since then, I regularly visit the India International Centre and Delhi Gymkhana Club libraries and borrow books to read from there.
My favourite subjects in reading are history, literature, biography, and, of course, law ( which was my profession ). I have read a lot of literature of several countries, and of several Indian languages. I have also read a lot of philosophy, economics, science, political science, etc
I had been admitted in an English medium school in Allahabad in January 1951 ( The Boys High School, Allahabad). At that time about one third of my school mates were Andlo- Indians ( later many migrated with their parents to England, Australia and Canada), and these boys all spoke in English. So I became fluent in English at a very early age, and this opened up the door for me to much knowledge in the world, because most of the books on various subjects are in English.
Indian intellectuals are broadly of two kinds, the traditional ones who have a good grip over Indian culture, and the Westernised ones, who have a good grip over Western culture. I have a good grip over both, and am equally comfortable and familiar with both. Thus, for example, I am well conversant with both Western philosophy, literature and history, as well as Indian philosophy, literature and history.
I am not a practical person, and it is because I have a very practical wife, who looks after all the practical affairs in my life, that I have survived so far. I am a purely theoretical man, and this is where I am highly specialized.
What is the use of theoretical knowledge ? The answer is that without theoretical knowledge we cannot understand the world, we cannot understand what is going on in it, and we cannot know how to solve the country's problems. Intellectuals are the eyes of society, and without intellectuals society is blind.