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WHY ‘WOW’?

THE WOW STORY

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Aristotle

Some things are destined to be, yet they never happen. Then, there are things that were not meant to be but take birth nevertheless. The WOW – A to Z is one such book.

It started with a vague dream—one that I could not recall the next morning. Throughout the day, I tried very hard but, as dreams are, it kept evading me. All that I remembered was that I was reading out a bedtime story on ‘honesty’ to my children when I gradually slunk into slumber, oblivious to my children’s constant nudges to keep me awake.

I witnessed a repeat of this on the next night too. While reading out a story on ‘modesty’ to my children, I slunk into slumber yet again, and I saw the dream once more. This time, when I woke up, the dream stayed with me for longer—throughout the next day and for many days thereafter.

I was pleased to have captured a few frames of my dream this time. Among the many thoughts, the dream made me wonder how our values shape our whole being—giving our lives a purpose, shaping our behaviour, driving our inspirations, steering our beliefs and the various choices that we make. I drifted into thinking what would it be like if our society attached as much importance to imparting core values as it did to teaching disciplines like mathematics and the sciences. Could values be taught in a structured syllabus, at par with all other subjects that typically formed part of our present academic curriculum? Maybe we should have a degree course in the discipline of ‘human values’! Would we then grow to be kinder, more self-aware, instinctively compassionate, abundantly curious and wholly peaceful? Aren’t these goals as important to life as the other general skills? I mulled over all of this.

However, deeming them philosophical and impractical, I dismissed these thoughts and moved on with my daily routine. But, on yet another night, as I read out one more story to my children, the seeds of WOW – A to Z germinated in my mind. I quickly jotted down the first few words on human values that popped into my head. Thereafter, I shortlisted 26 words after searching the Internet. The selection was done such that each word started with an alphabet of the English language. Once the list was ready, I contacted 26 creative people who I knew personally or followed online, and requested them to contribute a piece of an artistic expression inspired from the word that I would share with them. Without a doubt, all of us agreed that the impression of an art could help trigger young minds to discover the core human values. We decided to call these ‘Words Of Wonder’.

Over the next few months, the first draft of the book was compiled with 26 works of art, accompanied by an equal number of inspirational quotes. The book looked beautiful; however, somehow, it felt incomplete. Over time, inspired by the WOW artists and their contributions, I wrote 26 stories and re-designed the book to include works of art, quotations and stories for each of the 26 Words Of Wonder. I am deeply humbled by the contribution made by everyone who participated altruistically in this journey—artists, editors, designers and proofreaders. Isn’t that WOW enough!

This book, as you now see it, is a dreamlike journey of people, who in the spirit of creativity, connected over an idea and set out on the search for meaning, sharing with you—the readers, their understanding of a word. Flip this book front to back or back to front, glean through its pages, savour each word, reflect on a quote, enjoy the art and read the story. Make your way to the very end of the book—with a brief write-up on each artist and their thought process when they were conceptualising the art that accompanies each Word Of Wonder.

With WOW – A to Z, we hope to inspire all those who dream, to arouse curiosity and enable everyone to join hands. That is its true purpose—to make sense of the reality based on a dream.

Know more about WOW – A to Z here at https://wow.twagaa.com


Amit Suri
(Mumbai, India)