So it has been a while since we had a book review go up here and no we haven’t forgotten that there is a book review section on this blog. We don’t want you to forget it either, so here is a book review by Srishty Grover. Srishty is old friend, one of my first from the blogging world and I am so glad that she agreed to review books for IrisMontage. So let hear what Srishty has to say about Bag It All by Nina Lekhi
I have always been the person who shies away from biographies. I cannot even say if I like or don’t like them because, honestly, I do not give them enough chances. Despite being a lover of stories, I have a notion against biographies that they may end up being too politically correct or too preachy or too.
Well, I am thankful for opportunities which lead me to read biographies, as despite what notions I may have, sometimes, they end up being quite inspirational. Case in point, this book, ‘Bag it all’, story of Nina Lekhi, the founder of the popular, entirely Indian bag brand – Baggit. It is quite awe-inspiring to read stories of people taking the plunge to start their own businesses out of nothing. ‘Bag it all’ is one such story. In general, I like the endeavour of Jaico Publishing House & Bushfire Publishers to co-create inspiring startup stories & business biographies, ‘Bag it all’ being one of them.
What I liked about the book was how it started (for most biographies, biopics or even period dramas, that is my favorite part). I like knowing about how ordinary or extraordinary childhood a person had and Nina Ma’am has vividly described hers along with her early adult life. This reminds me that Suman Chhabria Addepalli has done a really good job of helping write this book, it is extremely well-edited & well-articulated, at least from my perspective. I also love how inspiring ‘Bag it all’ is, especially for someone who has tremendous respect, not just for creators of wholly Indian brands but even more for those who make a conscious effort to keep their brands that way no matter how hard it be. In one of the last parts of the book, Nina Ma’am has described how her dream is to earn back all the pounds she has spent shopping in London. It resonates so well with my dreams of having/watching indigenous brands that do as well as the international brands we collectively swoon over. It’s only a coincidence that ‘Bag it all’ has a line where she talks to her employees about being as committed as the international brands they ‘collectively swoon over’. No, seriously, its only a coincidence. So, yes, the book is extremely inspiring. Additionally, I liked that there were personality lessons at the end of each chapter of ‘Bag it all’ that are essential or helpful for being successful in whatever you do. Nina Ma’am & her family are part of a certain type of Yoga program known as SSY which has changed their lives and most of these lessons she learnt on the path of discovering herself after joining SSY.
What I didn’t quite like was that most of the chapters are heavily concentrated on her life around Baggit. Now I know that that was probably how the book was conceived, but as a reader who enjoys fiction more than self-help or personality development type of books, I wanted to read more stories about her personal life. Also, I wish if the pages with pictures had a better print, haha!
The one thing that ‘Bag it all’ definitely did, quite obviously, is raise the brand Baggit in my eyes. I have known about the brand since long like most people, but I didn’t know how she has put conscious effort to keep it vegan and completely Indian (Editor’s note- this is news even for me). She and the brand earned tremendous respect from me for this and also for various other practices that she follows in her company.
All in all, ‘Bag it all’ is a hugely inspirational read, especially if the ideas of entrepreneurship and make in India product-based startups excite you. It is a story of how an average woman with a passion built an empire out of it which benefits every stakeholder involved, not just herself. However, if you are looking for a book that draws you into it with artistically woven words or plot twists or both, then you may give ‘Bag it all’ a miss.
– Srishty Grover
Srishty blogs at ‘Life of Srish‘. Street scenes, books, travel, food or anything else that catches her fancy turns into a post because she believes every tiny thing in life is worth a metaphorical snapshot!