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Avnita Bir: Vice Principal- Podar school, Mumbai

I consider myself extremely fortunate to be here today amongst this august gathering of people that includes those who create such wonderful pieces of writings as Neera Maini Srivastav and Neelam Kumar as also in the company of avid book lovers who appreciate the value of such writings…we are all well aware that such people don’t come in plenty; unfortunately this resource is fast dwindling. Thank you Neera for giving me this opportunity to be amongst like-minded people who think differently, think progressive and celebrate the smallest nuances of life…. it is indeed my privilege to be here today for the launch of “The White Crow” by Neera Maini Srivastav. And thank you Neelam for introducing me to this wonderful masterpiece and its creator.

Having grown up on Aesop’s fables and the morals of the stories that followed, it was a sheer delight to graduate to the allegorical fiction created by Neera and the many different messages her piece of writing has thrown up. The look of the book in terms of its size, the font and the layout remind me of one my all-time favorites, Jonathan Livingston Seagull. “The White Crow” will definitely be an addition to my collection of all-time favorites.

As I devoured this rich book of extraordinary fiction from cover to cover to get the one message that the writer wants to convey, I couldn’t help remarking on the many different interpretations the book has lent itself to. Personally I felt connected with Neera on several occasions. It was as though she has echoed some of my very own thoughts. Mrs. Neelam Kumar in her forward has rightly said, as you read between the lines there are several important answers you will find to the myriad experiences that we call life. And there is a message lurking there for each one of us.

First of all having just returned from a month long stint, away from work, attending a summer course at UC Berkeley, I agree with Neera that sabbaticals are an absolute must for creative growth of an individual and for getting a fresh perspective to everything that constitutes life.

As a parent I could identify with the anguished Mama and Papa Corvo, who had to come to terms with a child who was born different.  As an educator, I found the book compelling in its style of writing with appropriate use of personifications, metaphors etc. and more importantly the inspiring outline for the youth. The lessons of self-discovery and hope are truly enriching. A definitely recommended book for all school libraries.

And finally, for humanity at large, the underlying  theme that runs through the book ….. of acceptance, inclusion, equality, diversity, tolerance and oneness     …..all so relevant and meaningful in today’s contemporary  times…times of globalization, living in a flat world and leveling of playing fields all across the  world.

“The White Crow” …a book that truly celebrates colors which make a beautiful rainbow on the earth.

A book that has been as beautifully packaged and presented to readers as the contents within. I was particularly impressed with the online representation, replete with media reviews, downloadable bookmarks, sharing of viewpoints….the works!

I wish it all the success it rightly deserves.