Archive for October 29, 2009


Book : Letters From A Father To His Daughter

Author : Jawaharlal Nehru

Publisher: Puffin Books

Pages :154 pgs

Category : Non Fiction, History

My grandfather was a very avid reader. He was the one who recommended books to me when I would spend hours just surfing bookshelves in our local library. It was through him that I got familiar with the works of Tolstoy , Pearl S Buck , Charles Dickens and some great Indian authors like Mulk Raj Anand , K.M.Munshi and Jawaharlal Nehru. I had read Glimpses Of World History by Nehru and loved it but somehow never read this beautiful little collection of letters Jawaharlal Nehru sent his 10 yrs old daughter Indira ( later known as Indira Gandhi ) when she was spending her summer at Mussorie , a hill station and Nehru himself was busy working in his home town Allahabad.

This set of letters he sent , tell the story of creation of Earth and its evolution. Nehru covers them chronologically with letters on First Living Things , Early Men , Civilizations , Trade, Great Cities and many more. Such is  the lucidity of his writing that at one point I felt , wish all books were written in this way.

Another intresting  point to be noted is that Nehru didnt spoon feed his daughter with all  the facts . He just told enough to make her curoius , so that she was initiated in to the quest of knowing more about them. Now, that is what process of learning is all about.

Here is my fav part of the book

Boys and girls, even grown ups are are often taught history in a peculiar way. They learn the names of the kings and others , and dates of battle and like. But surely history does not consist of battle and few persons who became kings and generals. History should tell us of the people of the country , how they lived , what they did and what they thought .It should tell us of their joys and sorrows , of their difficulties and how they overcame them..


With some really great illustrations , it makes a wonderful read not just for kids but also for adults. I can say its a refresher course on things we should know but hardly make an effort to think about..

Highly recommended..