Jun 042023
Review: Tenacity with Dadasaheb Phalke
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Title: Tenacity with Dadasaheb Phalke
Author: Pervin Saket
Illustrator: Neeti Banerjee
Publisher: AdiDev Press
Type: Boardbook
Pages: 20
Age group:
3-8 years

When we received this book, I was interested in learning more about the legendary director, producer, and screenwriter Dadasaheb Phalke, as the most prestigious award in Indian film is named in his honour.

Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, also known as Dadasaheb Phalke was born near Nashik in 1870. He studied art at Bombay’s Sir J.J. School of Arts. Following that, he took a course in water and oil painting at the MS University of Baroda. He developed his modelling and architecture talents. Photography was his favourite subject so he acquired a camera to excel in it but he didn’t accomplish much. He then put his efforts in drama and painting stage curtains. Once, when he was watching a French film based on Jesus, which inspired him to create films based on Indian mythology and culture. To create his own movie, he worked really hard.

Unfortunately, he had lost his eyesight due to excess strain on his eyes and a lack of proper sleep. With the help of an ophthalmologist a new life began for him. In 1912, he decided to his properties to fund his travel to England in order to learn more about filmmaking and procure the equipment.

In 1913, he produced his debut film, Raja Harishchandra, a full-length Indian film that was released in Bombay. People enjoyed watching his film. In those days he broke the culture of male actor domination by introducing women to cinema (earlier men played the roles of women!). In his lifetime, he produced more than 40 films.

The book is written in rhyming text with beautiful illustrations. We have learned so many things from this inspiring story,

  • Never give up, even if life gives you so many failures and struggles, which are the stepping stones to success. 
  • The way gender equity is introduced by Dadasaheb Phalke.
  • How to get to know one’s passion by doing a lot of things.

My kids (5 & 3 years old) could understand the story so well through the beautiful illustrations. On the page where Dadasaheb lost his sight and the doctor was treating him, they understood that Dadasaheb Phalke never wanted to give up after losing his eyesight, and he tried to get it cured. The other one is where Dadasaheb Phalke sold his belongings. There, my kids understood the importance of money and the way we must manage if we really needed something.

When I read the word ‘tenacity’, my kids asked me what it meant. They understood the meaning (determination to never give up) from reading about Dadasaheb Phalke’s life journey.

You can find my review of Passion with Aditi Pant here. Some more books in the ‘Learning To Be’ series are  Commitment With Bibha Chowdhuri ,Courage with Anandibai Joshee, Kindness With Mahavira (review) Peace With Buddha (review) Service With Guru Nanak (review).

If you enjoyed this review and wish to buy this inspirational book from Amazon (kbc affiliate link),


Disclaimer: Punidha is a part of the #kbcReviewerSquad and she received this book as a review copy from the publisher.

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