Inspiration is something that feels very difficult to find at times. Once you go into an uninspired phase, you search for it everywhere, but it seems out of reach. You seek it in the past, when you have found it, you seek it in people around you, and if it is for writing, you even seek it in every word that you read or come by. Being inspired by life is a totally different thing. You look for role models to follow. You want to be successful like them, be it Bill Gates or Narendra Modi, Kalpana Chawla or Shobhana (the dancer). Recently, a book came into my hands that showed me there were some people I never knew about, 15 people who have faced obstacles and conquered them, 15 people to be inspired by.
Because Life is a Gift brings the stories of 15 differently-abled people to light. One had a serious medical condition right from childhood because of the doctors’ negligence. He had change schools because the parents of other children didn’t want their children to be affected by the side-effects of that condition. But he took it in his stride, began to study hard so his fees was covered by scholarships, so he was recognized for his merits not for his disability. He won over those who doubted him, and today, he is successful. I tip my hat to him. A ten year old boy with ideas that strike you, keep you thinking. I had known about his patent of course. I had read about it in the newspaper. Circular chess for 6 to 60 people! Wow. What an idea! And how he has pursued making the idea into a reality! I remember the newspaper titling him child prodigy. Most certainly he is. How about the girl who couldn’t walk even when she was two, and whose parents did whatever treatments or pujas they heard of, hoping for a miracle? She found someone who believed in her, a teacher at school. She became an integral part of Bollywood. Then there’s an artist who has no hands, but makes the most beautiful paintings. How does she do it?
I love the book because it has stories that inspire. They had different abilities, they used it and succeeded. Like her previous book, Disha keeps the narration simple. That works well because it leaves the life stories to shine, to be the cynosure. She starts out with the motivation that she had to write this book. And from there, you know how dedicated she has been to this project. What may have made the book more interesting is if it wasn’t done like excerpts from an interview, if it could have somehow got the reader to get into the shoes of these inspirational people. Of course, that’s easier said than done. I might have struggled to do that too, just a suggestion for her of course. And I’d have loved it if there was a photo of the author with them during the interview for this book. It’d have shown the present day them.
Is this a book to be read? Yes, absolutely. It is to be read, and it’ll inspire you for sure. Definitely not a one-time read, but one meant to be savored at its own pace.
Title: Because Life is a Gift
Genre: Non-fiction / Motivational
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Price: Rs. 150
(13th November 2014)