A touch of light

A touch of light

This is a movingly written book about a boy who is unable to find joy in anything, writes Rashmi Vasudeva

Darkless Tanu Shree Singh (Illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat)

You know a book is a hit with your child if she finds a special place for it after it is read. You know the book is a smashing hit when she keeps the book in its newly-allotted ‘special’ place and runs back for a bear hug. 

Meant for children aged five and above, this stunningly illustrated and movingly written book about a boy who is not finding joy in anything made my six-year-old sad, anxious, curious, happy and thoughtful — all at once. It is the story of little Ani who is shown to be clouded by darkness — quite literally. Nope, neither ice-cream, nor chocolate can dispel his darkness (much to the astonishment of its young reader).

School does not interest him and his Nani’s efforts at bringing a smile on her beloved grandson’s face flop spectacularly. What is making Ani so sad? Why has everything in his world lost its colour? 

Without revealing the story, let’s just say the book deals with issues that sorely need dealing with — how to handle children who are hurting from the inside, how to let children be, how to build empathy, and most importantly, how to deal with love, disease and separation. 

The denouement, when it eventually comes, is as tender as the dust fairies that waft past a (finally) happy and relieved Ani. As Ani’s ma tells him, “as long as you let others love you, you will be okay.” 

And that’s partly how Ani’s world becomes dark-less. 


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