One of my favourite books is Carl Sagan's Cosmos. My fascination for science and space was sparked off when we took off from the globe to explore what was beyond-from when Laika the dog, followed by man, landed on the moon. When I first picked up Sagan, I felt handicapped that I wasn't a science student. I underlined almost the whole book, then purchased another copy to start again. An interesting detail in the book is the spaceship, Pioneer X which can travel for 24,000 years and if some intelligent being catches it and deciphers the code, can come back after 48,000 years. Sagan's extremely excited by the idea that one day we'll get some answers. To me it seems sheer poetry that a man can be so excited, by something he knows he won't live to see...
The other book that's moved me is Hands on My Back by the Spanish poet, Marin Sorescu -- it toppled me over with its abstract imagery, so close to the idea of spaces.
Lust for Life-a biography of Van Gogh by Irving Stone and Martin Eden by Jack London are two others that've inspired me.
(Gulzar is a poet and lyricist)