This is not a review but more of my feeling and musing for someone who came and narrated a piece of her heart in the hope that We would resonate and change for the better. Reading the book His Voice by Rima Pande has been an experience.
Agastya Raj has a stroke that leaves him paralysed from the neck down and unable to speak. Confined to his bed, surrounded by a circle of love and care sewn together by his wife Khushi, he shares with us the tumultuous thoughts that swirl in his mind. In this fictionalized narrative, Rima Pande immerses herself in her father’s consciousness to become his voice, bringing to you the story of her parents, her father’s illness, and her strong and giving mother.
His Voice is a sensitive portrayal of deep family roots and often unspoken bonds across four generations. With little twists aplenty that will make you nod and smile.
Rima Pande lives in the Boston area, enjoys parenting three amazing kids, unstructured and experimental cooking, and maximum travel. Her favourite leisure activity is sitting outside in an Adirondack chair with a book when it is sunny and 22 degrees celsius.
Pretending you’re ok is easier than explaining to everyone why you’re not.
This quote which jumped out at me whilst I was completing the book His voice by Rima Pande is a wake-up call of sorts. Yes, we are not ok many times. Indeed, we face a lot and strive to keep our chin up, fighting all curveballs and adversities life throws at us. But, do we really do so in a complacent, non-complaining kind of manner? Is gratitude for what we have ever a part of our attitude? Have we ever understood the importance of a happy, healthy, normal day in our lives, choosing to ignore what we are devoid of? Perhaps not.
His Voice is a powerful piece of writing by the Author Rima Pande who has written this both with a view to bringing forth a story that gives you the true meaning of what really defines resilience and also to make us acknowledge how in spite of all odds you have to stand up and move on whilst also sensitizing difficult life conditions for those who have not yet had a taste of such an instance.
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“Accept the present in its totality.”-This forms one of the first few hearts shattering quotes by Agastya Raj, the protagonist from whose point of view this book is written. This is a narrative written by his daughter which shows his painful journey after he gets paralyzed from the neck down losing not only mobility but also his ability to speak. Rima has written the narrative in her father’s voice highlighting not only the aspects of his daily life happenings but also those little things which even after minute inspection, we as healthy people fail to notice about those who have been robbed of this health and liberty. Being able to live a normal, healthy life, leading it the way you want to, without being dependent is perhaps one of the biggest blessings one can have in life. We, humans, generally have a habit of being thankless, I feel. Whilst living life, even in its bare ordinary course, we sometimes tend to overlook those little blessings, those trivial yet important facets, which make life complete for us.
Say, for instance, consider one normal regular happy day in the life of an average human. He/she might still crib saying that they don’t have a particular fulfilment by way of getting something, they might be unhappy with some existing life condition, or some other scenario. But have you considered what happens when you are devoid, perhaps permanently of even this basic life living? What would transpire if you realize you can barely even move a single muscle to lead a normal life, let alone a crib? Bamboozled right?
Rima, being her father’s voice in this narrative, not only highlights his painful journey, she has brought to the forefront a very important point-Are we grateful for our life or are we not? The manner in which she encapsulates his journey is emotional, hard-hitting. Yes, it is extremely difficult for someone who loses his mobility to live a normal course of life. The point is that it is simply not a dysfunctionality of the body, such a melancholic outcome is a threat to the complete psychology of the patient too. The purpose I feel is absolutely profound behind writing this piece as the idea simply is not to highlight the pain and emotional trauma alone but go beyond that. This is writing that will make you pause and think about empathy and also sensitize you towards those who happen to encounter such a scenario.
You know there is a line put in the book which describes Agastya ji’s incompetency to shoo away a mere rat. A simple daily life instance that speaks volumes. Yes, incompetency on being incapable of driving away your child’s monsters. Shakes you to the core, the pain that flows from these simple yet hard-hitting lines. How painful must it have been for a father to be a paradigm of such helplessness? Rima’s depiction is not empathy alone, it is a very vital qualm, I feel. There is a lot of unspoken emotion in between the lines she has managed to put. Agastya ji’s health condition whilst being one of the worst possible nightmares one can possibly imagine, Rima still manages to bring out a lot of silver lining through the dark cloud of pain portrayed, a cloud which has a never-ending chasm of pain and suffering for the bearer i.e Agastya ji. To evaluate this life-transforming piece of narrative and writing is like measuring the number of Sun’s rays because the takeaway from this one is so huge that one can only pause and be in awe of how Rima has converted such a pain to power and in such a beautiful manner.
Kudos to her for giving us a life lesson through sharing such a painful yet powerfully transformative life journey so splendidly.
So that was my book review of His Voice by Rima Pande which is a unique, soft romantic kinda read. Hope you enjoyed reading it.
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