A different kind of story. One where the protagonist Harsh takes you on a journey to help you understand some difficult concepts.
A 51-page book., Invisible Patterns is for the age group of 10 and above. It makes for a quick read. Actually even younger children will enjoy the book because of its simple and easy to understand language. In the main character of Harsh, the author has created an absolutely believable 10-year-old, a regular fifth grader leading a normal life.
But there the similarities between Harsh and other ten-year-old boys end. Harsh unlike other boys sees visions of his past lives. He is plagued by dreams of another lifetime. These visions trigger a series of questions in his young mind. The answers to his questions are revealed in a wonderful way by his family: while playing Scrabble his father makes the world KARMA, this word build up is followed by a small explanation of the word. Karma is compared to a School Report Card, except its a Life Report Card.
Harsh is not the only one haunted by these visions, his four year old sister Sanjali too sees similar visions.
The concept of Other Worlds is explained by a scientist friend of his father's. This concept makes Harsh ponder over his visions. Harsh wonders whether these visions were signs of him visiting another universe? His grandmother explains to him the term Free Will. Every such concept is explained by a caring adult in an easy and simple style. At no time will the reader (child) feel overwhelmed by these high concepts as they are incorporated seamlessly into the story. It's a wonderful way of familiarising a child with these concepts.
The simple black and white
illustrations add to the book's appeal.
The only grouse is, wish the book title and cover were more catchy and attractive. There is no sign of Harsh on the cover. That may prove to be a deterrent as readers may not realise that it is a children's book.
INVISIBLE PATTERNS by Dr. Shyamala Vatsa, Fo'c'sle Publications. Rs. 75