Brighten Your Life – A Book Review

Brighten Your Life

This small book for young children – through its fables – could garner the political forces to change the present regime in India. Titled ‘Brighten Your Life’ the book has been creatively conceptualized and written by Ms. Ira Khandelwal. It is being distributed free of cost for educational purposes to young school children and is aptly dedicated to all the children in the world. A few hard copies are available presently. Copies of the book were earlier available at the author’s website but that is awaiting re-construction presently.

The blurb on the back cover of the book reads:

“In this book Ira Khandelwal has combined text and colour in a series that speaks about the self-doubt in all of us that keeps us from being our best selves. Each of the 21 posters brings a unique and positive perspective to the table, encouraging us to look for the best in ourselves and the world at large.”

“Ira Khandelwal began taking an active interest in art at a very young age.  She has completed her schooling from Sanskriti School, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi and has nurtured her childhood interest over the years to produce this collection of posters that can bring life and love into the reader’s worldview. Ira draws her creativity from the diverse passions she has pursued in her life.”

Ira Khandelwal

The authoress gratefully acknowledges support received from her parents for their financial and moral support; with lots of thanks to her brother Ishaan; and welcome encouragement received from relatives.

The writers of stories/fables/quotes have been duly credited. Some images used are courtesy, modified as per need.

The philosophy of the authoress is captured in the Preface to the book. I will let Ira speak for herself:

“Gratitude, Leadership, Goal, Self-love, and Empowering Beliefs are easy to preach, but very difficult to put into practice in one’s own life. I hope the genuine optimism and authenticity that I bring to this work is reflected in this book. Even if one person is able to hear what I am trying to say, I will consider myself successful.

As long as we engage with life joyfully and refuse to believe the assumption that only a particular kind of person can live a happy life, we can love ourselves and also put that love out into the world. That is what I want to do through this book and I hope you hear me.”

Even sensitive readers – who are otherwise politically conscious or are revolutionary in outlook – are requested to show the patience to read ‘Story of Frog’ (1 minute read):

A colony of frogs was travelling across a forest in search of a pond. While hopping around, two frogs fell into a deep pit. The other frogs gathered around the pit and expressed their concern over the situation. As the two frogs tried to jump out of the deep pit, the other frogs discouraged them by saying how impossible it is to jump out.

The two frogs chose to ignore the demotivating words of others and decided to jump out of the pit. They tried very hard and put in all their efforts to come out of the pit while the frogs watching from the top told them to give up.

Eventually, one among them was influenced by the other frogs and died as he gave up on the struggle to come out of the pit. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could.

After an immense struggle, he finally came out of the pit alive. Other frogs were surprised and asked how he managed to come up in spite of them telling him to give up. The frog explained that he is deaf and assumed that everyone was cheering for him.

– Anonymous

My acquaintance with Ira dates back to two decades when she was about four years of age; as also her courageous and dignified brother, Ishaan; and their strong-willed mother, Seema. I re-read the book originally published in 2019 on 8th March 2024, the International Women’s Day. There are five simple stories in this book. Rahul Gandhi should read the story on ‘Leadership’ – the capacity to translate vision into reality. The entire opposition political parties should read the story on ‘Empowering Beliefs’. Rahul Gandhi should also read the story ‘Goal’. Like Arjuna shooting the arrow and piercing the bird’s/fish’s eye – Rahul’s leadership should overthrow the present regime in India. Lastly Narendra Modi should read the story ‘The Ungrateful Mouse’ – where a saint turned a tiger into a small and weak mouse all over again i.e. to its original state/status!!!

[P. S. Sahni is a member of PIL Watch Group.


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