Book review: The Wind Beneath His Wings by Swati Lahoti

Author: Swati Lahoti

Genre: Memoir, Educational

No. of pages: 128

Published on: 1st January 2018

Published by: Prabhat Prakashan

Format: Paperback

My rating: ★★★★☆

"The key to success in any exams is to study daily, be at it on a regular basis, and have control and command over it. It is then that you enjoy the discovery of new things, the unravelling of facts hitherto unknown."

Blurb of the book (as taken from

"It is not easy to prepare for IIT Joint Entrance Exam. In fact, it can be quite unnerving. It's only natural to feel the pressure, question your own capabilities and sometimes lose hope too. Here's a book that will help you get back on track in case you misplace your motivation mid-way. A book that tells you how the family members, especially the mothers, can play an important role in helping a kid cope with the pressure. A book that tells you if you believe in you dream, then keep fighting for it. In the process, you might get bruised a little but emerge victorious."
- Nitesh Tiwari, Director, Dangal, IIT Bombay, 1996

"It is a matter of common knowledge that IIT-JEE is one of the toughest entrance exams to clear. The teachers know how to teach, the students know how to study but the parents do not know how to support their kids in this arduous journey. There are times when the students, even the best of them, get unnerved. I am sure if parents read this book, 'The Wind Beneath His Wings', they will be better equipped to give just the right support to their kids so that they are in the right frame of mind & do their best. This book will change the mindset of the parents."
- Praveen Tyagi, Director, IITians' PACE, IIT Delhi, 1997 

About the book:

The Wind Beneath His Wings by Swati Lahoti is a memoir of her experiences when her oldest son Alind was preparing for his JEE exams in 2016. As we all Indians know that JEE exams are one of the toughest exam to crack in the Indian subcontinent. Securing a good rank in this examination is a direct ticket to the most prestigious institutions in India, the IITs.

The Wind Beneath His Wings is not just a memoir of a mother, but it is also a thorough guidance to parents and students as well. Swati Lahoti has explained her fears and weaknesses with her readers and tells them in her own words what is needed to avoid the mistakes she had made. She also shares how meticulously she helped her oldest son to prepare for the exams. Her day to day routine with Alind, her concern for him and how she was always beside him during his toughest time, is described in the book.

As you will read the book, you will get to know about all the little things that needs to be kept in the mind in order to sustain this tough period. When you read the book you will be able to reflect upon Alind's day to day routine and you will know how to make a routine for yourself as well. The little tips about revisions and mock tests that are given in the book will be extremely helpful to you. If you expect that reading this book will help you secure a ranking in the examination then you are wrong. It only tells you how to go about your studies and other co-curricular activities together (whether it's a competitive examination or not) without losing your peace of mind.

The author mentions many times that she never pressurised her son to secure a respectable ranking but only motivated him because she knew that her son has the potential. Similarly, you should go for this examination only if you think you have what it takes to get into the IITs. Though sometimes I felt bad for Alind while reading the book (because of his tight schedule, as I am someone who can never stick to routines), I knew that this is what Alind wanted.

If you are an IIT aspirant (or even a student pursuing any other subject) then I am sure that although this book won't help you achieve a rank, but it will surely make you realise what you are missing in your preparations.

Writing style:

Swati Lahoti's writing style is very systematic. In some parts of the book she shares her personal experiences when she herself was a student and in other parts she describes how she and her entire family of four helped Alind achieve his goals. She has provided Alind's routine in the book in a point wise manner. She has an excellent grasp over the language and explains everything to the readers in a very professional way. There are also chapters written by Alind himself (where he describes the dos and don'ts in preparing for the exams), his younger brother Vayam (who says how he helped Alind in preparing notes and mock test papers for him) and his father Rohit (who describes how he felt during the period and how he motivated him even when he was away from the family in Singapore).

This is a book that students from all ares will find helpful. Recommended to all students who are looking for an informal guidebook.

About the author:

Swati Lahoti, based in Mumbai, is a writer by passion. A post-graduate in English & MBA in Marketing & HR, she has variously worked as a copywriter with advertising agencies and a placement consultant. However, the role most dear to her heart is that of a mother, helping her two sons reach the pinnacle of success. This book is about her redemption-as a student, as a teacher, as a mother and most importantly as a daughter!

I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange of an honest and unbiased review. 


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