Ponder differently and be the change

Name: Sochu -Let’s celebrate the process of thinking

Genre: Graphic novel

Author(s): Chetan Vohra, Deven Gandhi and Vilas Algude

Pages: 12 book series

Smiling and vibrant faces. Bright colours coupled with smart-looking characters are sure to dance their way into your hearts. Little Sochu lures us into keenly hearing him out. Meet this seven-year-old lad, who is the protagonist of the book series. He is joined by his unique friends Anju, Manju, Raju, Julie, Robert, Sher Singh and so on. Interestingly, each of his friends depict our qualities: confidence, anger, pensiveness, shock, vivaciousness, fear and so on. Sochu and friends are on a learning mission and hone themselves with every book.

On the other hand, the elders in Sochu’s family are cool-headed and interesting in their own ways. Mr. and Mrs. Kumar, Sochu’s parents, and Dadi are in perfect sync with their kids Sochu and his brother Prem. They understand when their kids are in a dilemma and help them out without being preachy (Neither do many of us like it when people get preachy about ways of life, do we?).

So, at a glance, do the titles of the books seem like a sheaf out of the moral education textbook? Absolutely not. The aim is to make the characters think and come up with their own solutions. For instance, when we have too many choices, one is in a dilemma and also ends up being dissatisfied with the choice made. At this point, Mrs. Kumar and Dadi demonstrate how choosing something randomly and giving it enough time gives a deep satisfaction.

We are constantly caught up in the never-ending rat race in today’s world. People also get their kids embroiled in this competitive world. The books outline major issues plaguing kids today: winning, success, choices, costly material gifts, global warming and so on. But author Chetan Vohra and team make sure that kids don’t get bogged down by the pressure to outdo others. Sochu and team think ‘out of the box’. Thus, even mammoth issues seem miniscule, thanks to the book.

A special mention about Mr. Williams, the 80-year-young teacher, who defies his age. His classes are fun because he makes the kids think ‘out of the box’. This way kids become in tune with nature, deep breathing and yoga to come up with new solutions. Yogi Mrs. Kumar inspires the kids to do yoga to keep themselves mentally and physically strong. The ‘Superhero’ inside Sochu’s brain plays the perfect Devil’s Advocate. When Sochu takes a deep breath to find answers to questions, the Superhero presents ‘for’ and ‘against’ points to help him get a clearer idea.

The ‘Sochu series’ is not meant only for kids. Everyone who reads the book has something to take home. If you think out of the box, the results will surprise you. Also, to make a change, be the change. And, who wouldn’t love to be a better version of oneself? The ‘Sochu’ makes this seem so easy. Read the books for the sheer pleasure of keeping the child in you alive.

Janani Rajeswari is a freelance journalist who feels writing is a way of staying happy and positive. She teaches foreign languages. She also loves music, pets, books, movies, art and craft and learning new languages.

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