SAIIER 2018:“Jalaja the Gentle Fish”

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“An Integral Education for Growth and Blossoming”
SAIIER 2017-18 icon.jpg

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“Mango Tree”
“Jalaja the Gentle Fish”

by Jyoti Khare

I have written and illustrated a story where a little fish, through her courage and compassion transforms the competitive and aggressive nature of all the creatures in the pond, and establishes a happy atmosphere of unity and solidarity amongst all.

The purpose of the project was to find ways to create (write and illustrate) beautiful books for children that inspire them to be strong and deep human beings.

What I was researching was to find a way of making the illustrations speak directly to the children’s hearts, while the text speaks to their minds, so that their whole being feels elated and inspired by the book.


Every time I illustrate a story I attempt to do it in a style that will suit the mood of the story and will take me a step further in my own learning. As this story is set predominantly in a pond, I had for the first time to work on underwater scenes, keeping the fluidity, transparency and depth of the pond. This was the challenge and the learning for me.

In a beautiful pond where all kinds of creatures lived, a little fish named Jalaja had her home with her mother.

One beautiful spring morning her mother told her, “My dear child you are big now. It is time for you to explore the world on your own. See if you can find a nice little corner where you would like to live.” “Alright mother,” said Jalaja obediently. Deep inside her heart though, she did not feel all that big yet.

See also