The tension simmers nicely... Except, no thriller this, but a stupendous compilation of real-life stories chronicling random acts of kindness, which forms the veritable heart and spine of Lubaina Bandukwala’s, Your Turn Now! (YTN)
At first glance, the latest title from Fun Ok Please Publishing for children seems a cross between the Chicken Soup series and the Pass it On movement based on the Pay It Forward concept. Yet, this book gives the homespun YTN idea a strong public face.
Started by entrepreneur Rushabh Turakhia in 2009, it is powered by a gentle but dynamic premise: be a Samaritan and in return, ask the person you’re kind to, to be likewise for another. Replicated hundreds of times, these actions transmit a chain of good deeds transforming thousands of lives, globally.
Turakhia says, “The human race is referred to as ‘mankind’ but the word ‘man’ and ‘kind’ have got separated. Twenty years down, my vision is to see compassion running through everyone’s DNA, my objective is to touch the lives of seven billion people at least once in their lifetime.”
The visible hero here is the Little Blue Card, inserted in a pack of five (wisely worded in English and Hindi for wider practical action) in a flap at the end. The visiting card-sized wonder works its magic by literally being handed on, from person to person — because it’s Your Turn Now.
Importantly, the book hits the shelves and a chord among readers at a time when the fear of strangers has heightened as never before. Ringing out the message that the world isn’t all terrifying, violent and not to be trusted, Your Turn Now tells it as it is too.
Halfway through the pages is printed: “It’s easy to be kind if you don’t have to give up anything. But to share something that you also need with a stranger? Now, that’s truly special.” The author distils episodes mirroring such sobering thoughts, without resorting to a preachy style.
Read it. Gift it. Let the pocket card keep beaming up at you in some or other way thanks to a flow of kindness. Because the world is still a great place in which the oldest truths comfortingly hold. Because one good turn still does deserve another.