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A Book of Light: When a Loved One Has a Different Mind

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In fiction and in cinema, we see people retreat into the family when they are hurt. There they are surrounded by love and warmth and they can lick their wounds in peace. But what if it is your mother who is wounding you and then soothing you by turns? What if it is your father who seems distant or desolate, living in a dark tower that you cannot enter?... What of the famil In fiction and in cinema, we see people retreat into the family when they are hurt. There they are surrounded by love and warmth and they can lick their wounds in peace. But what if it is your mother who is wounding you and then soothing you by turns? What if it is your father who seems distant or desolate, living in a dark tower that you cannot enter?... What of the family where someone commits suicide and leaves behind a vacuum, a space that seems to mock every attempt at love and holding on? What of the family which must institutionalize one of its members? How does it manage?’ In 2012, Jerry Pinto published his debut novel, Em and the Big Hoom, which drew upon his experience of living with a mother who was bipolar. It touched thousands of readers, among them many who had similar experiences—of living with someone with a mental illness or infirmity. Some of these readers shared their stories with him and agreed to share them with the world. A Book of Light collects these harrowing yet moving, even empowering, stories—about the terror and majesty of love; the bleakness and unexpected grace of life; the fragility and immense strength of the human mind.


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In fiction and in cinema, we see people retreat into the family when they are hurt. There they are surrounded by love and warmth and they can lick their wounds in peace. But what if it is your mother who is wounding you and then soothing you by turns? What if it is your father who seems distant or desolate, living in a dark tower that you cannot enter?... What of the famil In fiction and in cinema, we see people retreat into the family when they are hurt. There they are surrounded by love and warmth and they can lick their wounds in peace. But what if it is your mother who is wounding you and then soothing you by turns? What if it is your father who seems distant or desolate, living in a dark tower that you cannot enter?... What of the family where someone commits suicide and leaves behind a vacuum, a space that seems to mock every attempt at love and holding on? What of the family which must institutionalize one of its members? How does it manage?’ In 2012, Jerry Pinto published his debut novel, Em and the Big Hoom, which drew upon his experience of living with a mother who was bipolar. It touched thousands of readers, among them many who had similar experiences—of living with someone with a mental illness or infirmity. Some of these readers shared their stories with him and agreed to share them with the world. A Book of Light collects these harrowing yet moving, even empowering, stories—about the terror and majesty of love; the bleakness and unexpected grace of life; the fragility and immense strength of the human mind.

30 review for A Book of Light: When a Loved One Has a Different Mind

  1. 4 out of 5

    Monika

    A Book of Light is a harbinger of pretense. An anthology of thirteen personal accounts, this book opens up a seemingly large void that we so lovingly nurture. Tears and sadness seems like a luxury after reading this book. The mummification of mental health problems makes life appear to be full of flowers and roses, so much that the inevitable thorns move from our field of sight and lies in waiting. Light is trying to deride us all: the question is, are we going to let it?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Vaidya

    What would I do without Jerry Pinto? Such stories...so many families that seem dysfunctional...but pull through each day as, well...what other option is there? This is the opposite of the success stories that people like to bandy about, in a way. These are not 'failure' stories. But stories where life gives you the worst deal and you manage with it, or maybe not, sometimes getting scarred yourself. There is so much to be said about wanting a normal Facebook life filled with its everyday milestones What would I do without Jerry Pinto? Such stories...so many families that seem dysfunctional...but pull through each day as, well...what other option is there? This is the opposite of the success stories that people like to bandy about, in a way. These are not 'failure' stories. But stories where life gives you the worst deal and you manage with it, or maybe not, sometimes getting scarred yourself. There is so much to be said about wanting a normal Facebook life filled with its everyday milestones and Euro trips for others to look at. And then there are lives that have to deal with health issues of their loved ones and never quite manage that normalcy. There is never closure, even death doesn't give you that. All you are left with is questions.

  3. 5 out of 5

    sandhya

    An anthology of 13 real life stories narrated by the dear ones of those 'of a different mind' in some way. An extremely difficult book to read, I needed time between stories to absorb the sadness and process it. Brought back memories of similar individuals and events in my life, and I was stunned at how close to the surface tears were when I had thought I had dealt with these feelings. An anthology of 13 real life stories narrated by the dear ones of those 'of a different mind' in some way. An extremely difficult book to read, I needed time between stories to absorb the sadness and process it. Brought back memories of similar individuals and events in my life, and I was stunned at how close to the surface tears were when I had thought I had dealt with these feelings.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Krutika Puranik

    • r e c o m m e n d a t i o n • When I read Em and the Big Hoom last year, I was visibly shaken. It was darkly humorous but equally heartbreaking to read about Em's mental illness. A majority of the book was autobiographical and to think that a family can go through such hardships was harrowing to read. This year, Jerry Pinto presented to us an anthology of 13 stories curated by a bunch of talented writers one of them being by Amandeep Sandhu whose Sepia Leaves was an interesting read. Although t • r e c o m m e n d a t i o n • When I read Em and the Big Hoom last year, I was visibly shaken. It was darkly humorous but equally heartbreaking to read about Em's mental illness. A majority of the book was autobiographical and to think that a family can go through such hardships was harrowing to read. This year, Jerry Pinto presented to us an anthology of 13 stories curated by a bunch of talented writers one of them being by Amandeep Sandhu whose Sepia Leaves was an interesting read. Although the book spans over just 170 pages, it is in no way an easy read. Because baring the lives of someone we love for thousands to read is a herculean task to do. Most of the stories aren't about the people affected but brings into focus the people who carry the burden of living with them. A Book of Light is an empowering read and one that squeezes your heart every time you see an unfortunate event approaching. But it is also a book of love and endless sacrifices. I have never lived with nor known a person with a different mind so I can only live through the experience of what the writers had to say. Parents with bi-polar disorders, an uncle who's an alcoholic, a mother who doesn't bat an eye about her daughter's abuse, a beautiful son with autism, a brother who suddenly commits suicide; a lot of unanswered questions and many lives without closure. Jerry cleverly uses the word 'different' because that's what they are. Different. It becomes abundantly clear that our society plays a rather significant yet harsh role in understanding mental health so much so that they seek other ways to deal with it. Few of the stories are extremely hard-hitting making it seem almost impossible that these actually happened. As a reader, you have a responsibility of lending an empathetic ear, to understand where the writers are coming from and to be non judgemental. This book carries a lot of courage and light so it's apt that Jerry chose the subtitle so carefully. Rating : 4.4/5.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Milan Vohra

    To read this book is a privilege. I feel deeply grateful to be a reader. It actually felt like I was hearing these stories as if the narrator and I were sitting together, talking about our lives in a safe cocoon somewhere - each story immensely powerful and honest. It's a book I took time to read slowly. Each story has so much to tell, or leave unsaid. Reading this book left me acutely aware that no matter what we think we are dealing with, there is so much pain that the human spirit is able to To read this book is a privilege. I feel deeply grateful to be a reader. It actually felt like I was hearing these stories as if the narrator and I were sitting together, talking about our lives in a safe cocoon somewhere - each story immensely powerful and honest. It's a book I took time to read slowly. Each story has so much to tell, or leave unsaid. Reading this book left me acutely aware that no matter what we think we are dealing with, there is so much pain that the human spirit is able to endure. More than pain, more than everything else in this book, love shines through. Love from unexpected quarters, or from the troubled loved one. Thank you to the contributors and to Jerry Pinto for bringing together these stories that will leave you feeling less alone in the world. Stronger somehow. What an apt title. 'A book of light' is just what it is.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Abhyudaya Shrivastava

    A wonderful collection of personal accounts which serves as a reminder that humans are full of errors and prone to weaknesses but in midst of all the fragility, there is hope. Jerry Pinto's Em and the Big Hoom was about his bipolar mother and in this collection edited by him, people have recounted the gut-wrenching, heart breaking personal tales of loss, despair and agony arising from within their families. We need to talk about psychological illnesses and treat them like other common illnesses. A wonderful collection of personal accounts which serves as a reminder that humans are full of errors and prone to weaknesses but in midst of all the fragility, there is hope. Jerry Pinto's Em and the Big Hoom was about his bipolar mother and in this collection edited by him, people have recounted the gut-wrenching, heart breaking personal tales of loss, despair and agony arising from within their families. We need to talk about psychological illnesses and treat them like other common illnesses. This is a step in that direction. Hope things improve with it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Booker Wocky

    I read this just after finishing Em and the Big Hoom. In a way, this was the perfect non-fiction compendium to it. Caregivers feel different emotions at different times. Living with and caring for someone who has a different mind definitely takes its toll. Many of the excerpts shared here are told through childhood remembrances. Children have even greater difficulty in understanding why their lives are not 'normal', why they are not living like 'everyone else'. This is a humbling, honest read wh I read this just after finishing Em and the Big Hoom. In a way, this was the perfect non-fiction compendium to it. Caregivers feel different emotions at different times. Living with and caring for someone who has a different mind definitely takes its toll. Many of the excerpts shared here are told through childhood remembrances. Children have even greater difficulty in understanding why their lives are not 'normal', why they are not living like 'everyone else'. This is a humbling, honest read which sheds much light on forgotten aspects of mental health issues in India, foremost among them is - how the family copes up and how the society views it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    AccioHealth

    When we think about mental illness, we usually talk about the hardships and difficulties that are faced by the person who suffers from the various symptoms. But, we forget about the repercussions of these illnesses on the near and dear ones. No doubt the troubles of the person suffering from the illness is very much, but it also has a great impact on the lives of those around them; family, friends and caregivers. The summary of the book explains everything from why you need to read this book and When we think about mental illness, we usually talk about the hardships and difficulties that are faced by the person who suffers from the various symptoms. But, we forget about the repercussions of these illnesses on the near and dear ones. No doubt the troubles of the person suffering from the illness is very much, but it also has a great impact on the lives of those around them; family, friends and caregivers. The summary of the book explains everything from why you need to read this book and what you can expect from it. This book is a wonderful collection of the personal accounts of people who had someone suffering from mental illness. The book has all the emotions from sadness, grief, agony, loss, hurt, anger, love and care. It should be read by all caregivers of mental health as it tells you that you aren’t alone in your struggle. Other people are also facing similar or far worse situations than you are.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Saumya Kulshreshtha

    "When a loved one has a different mind" - says the description below the essay, which is a wonderfully sensitive and affectionate way of referring to medically difficult persons in your family. This book is a gem, a revelation, and one in which I have no favourite stories - because one cannot favour narratives when they are deeply moving and personal accounts of challenges lived and buried within the 4 walls of a home. More moving, perhaps, is the prologue which comes from Jerry's own life, and "When a loved one has a different mind" - says the description below the essay, which is a wonderfully sensitive and affectionate way of referring to medically difficult persons in your family. This book is a gem, a revelation, and one in which I have no favourite stories - because one cannot favour narratives when they are deeply moving and personal accounts of challenges lived and buried within the 4 walls of a home. More moving, perhaps, is the prologue which comes from Jerry's own life, and the perspective and empathy he developed over the course of living with a bipolar mother. On a personal note, the book gives me courage to get over guilts of my own past, when I had to give up on the closest of my friend because of the same condition - bipolar disorder - and my inability to cope with it. This one is, literally, the Book of Light.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Swetha - a chronically perturbed mind

    It is a unique memoir of its kind.. mental illness is not a topic constantly discussed openly or even acknowledged openly, despite the modern scenario, where we are yet to learn to be accepting about it as it has been in the West.... after all the habits and practises that we pursue now. It revolves around depression,bipolar disorder and even unexplained suicide... each story a true incident narrated by a relative or spouse... The compilations are short and thought provoking... that it did make m It is a unique memoir of its kind.. mental illness is not a topic constantly discussed openly or even acknowledged openly, despite the modern scenario, where we are yet to learn to be accepting about it as it has been in the West.... after all the habits and practises that we pursue now. It revolves around depression,bipolar disorder and even unexplained suicide... each story a true incident narrated by a relative or spouse... The compilations are short and thought provoking... that it did make me think twice about every person’s attitude to a relative with mental illness...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vaishnavi Tekumalla

    Just finished this beautiful, insightful, heartbreaking and riveting set of 13 stories. I can’t help but wonder how much courage it took even to put these accounts down on paper. Thank you for sharing your stories and giving us perspective, and hope.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sumedha

    The title says it all : A book of light . This one is a tough book to read, would be tougher for people who have been close to or taken care of a loved one with mental health issues. ( Or in my opinion, even a long term illness or a physical handicap). Take this as sort of a trigger warning too. A collection of 13 true stories, offering you a glimpse into the family dynamics, emotions, struggles, stories, conflicts, achievements of people coping with a loved one's illness. If you can resonate, you The title says it all : A book of light . This one is a tough book to read, would be tougher for people who have been close to or taken care of a loved one with mental health issues. ( Or in my opinion, even a long term illness or a physical handicap). Take this as sort of a trigger warning too. A collection of 13 true stories, offering you a glimpse into the family dynamics, emotions, struggles, stories, conflicts, achievements of people coping with a loved one's illness. If you can resonate, you will have a hard time getting over the "Maybe I know what it feels like". If you can't resonate, you would still be left with a turmoil of emotions, and a thankfulness for having never experienced this. Each story has a different flavour and tone as they are written by different people. Bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia..You meet them all. The emotions are just so raw and bare that you can't escape getting affected by them. Don't pick this one if you aren't ready for it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Suman Naik

    The book talks about issues which are neither acknowledged nor discussed in Indian society. It shares stories of family members living with their loved ones who suffered from different disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar, autism etc., the how they coped with the challenges it brought and what it's like to be at the receiving end of it. You feel bad for some, and happy for some. The stories are not sugarcoated. You get the hard truth about how it affects people's lives when they witness somethin The book talks about issues which are neither acknowledged nor discussed in Indian society. It shares stories of family members living with their loved ones who suffered from different disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar, autism etc., the how they coped with the challenges it brought and what it's like to be at the receiving end of it. You feel bad for some, and happy for some. The stories are not sugarcoated. You get the hard truth about how it affects people's lives when they witness something they don't understand, don't want to understand or completely ignore the situation altogether. Mental illness is still a taboo in our society and it makes me sad that the stigma prevents people from getting the help they need. The book made me question. Would their life be different had there been more information about the illnesses? Everyone needs to read this book. It's time we talk about mental health and its problems.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ushnav Shroff

    In a word, second readings are homely. They are probably not as much delightful as first ones go, but are far more resourceful than given credit for. The moment you open a book for the first time, take in the odor and flip the pages, a bond has been formed. It doesn’t matter whether you decide to buy it later on or not. You were there first, you chose to pick it up before the others. It’s quite similar to making friends with a puppy - long lasting and forever joyful to return to. Which is more th In a word, second readings are homely. They are probably not as much delightful as first ones go, but are far more resourceful than given credit for. The moment you open a book for the first time, take in the odor and flip the pages, a bond has been formed. It doesn’t matter whether you decide to buy it later on or not. You were there first, you chose to pick it up before the others. It’s quite similar to making friends with a puppy - long lasting and forever joyful to return to. Which is more than what you can say about human relationships. But books are neither humans nor pets. They can be described with the same adjectives that fill them. The moment you open a book for the second time, you waft in something else along with the odor. Memories are what spruce up your unused book while it waits to be opened again. The mark of a shriveled page. A dog ear there, a mark here. Your wet fingers might have touched the pages once and made one of them a shade lighter. Darker, if you had oil on them. That is what I experienced with 'A Book Of Light', edited ever so deftly by Jerry Pinto. Most of the stories were strong and impacted me, while others left me thinking.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Vibhor Jain

    The book dares to talk on the issue which is still not acknowledged and discussed in Indian society. This is a well compiled collection of realities faced by ordinary people under extra-ordinary circumstances having a family member suffer from disorders like bipolar, schizophrenia etc. As the editor put it, its not about catharsis or sharing guilt, this book is just about showing how ordinary people cope up when challenged by circumstances. Some might be good at handling situations, some bad. It The book dares to talk on the issue which is still not acknowledged and discussed in Indian society. This is a well compiled collection of realities faced by ordinary people under extra-ordinary circumstances having a family member suffer from disorders like bipolar, schizophrenia etc. As the editor put it, its not about catharsis or sharing guilt, this book is just about showing how ordinary people cope up when challenged by circumstances. Some might be good at handling situations, some bad. It is not intended that you judge a person, just try and understand what he or she has been going through. And this can happen to anyone.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Molshri

    Mental health issues are swept under the carpet in India. A taboo subject, families rarely speak of them. There is isolation in society. This book tells us about the real life experiences of family members of people suffering from psychological disorders. They go through trauma that most of us don't fully understand. All authors of this book tell us about their personal experiences and the stories are poignant and touching. Most of all, they help us understand these families. Many more stories a Mental health issues are swept under the carpet in India. A taboo subject, families rarely speak of them. There is isolation in society. This book tells us about the real life experiences of family members of people suffering from psychological disorders. They go through trauma that most of us don't fully understand. All authors of this book tell us about their personal experiences and the stories are poignant and touching. Most of all, they help us understand these families. Many more stories and movies must be made so that we become a more sensitive society. This rare book is a must read...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kanchan Shine

    13 people share their experiences of living with family members who suffer from disorders of the mind. Each story takes you into the lived experiences of these people. It makes you understand their point of view, their feelings of sadness,anger, helplessness and guilt. And most importantly it makes you aware of the different mental conditions existing and some early signs which we often dismiss as nothing. A bow down to those who chose to share their stories and provide strength to others.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Keerthi

    I bought this book in the mad hurry of an Amazon sale and I didn't read it for quite some time, part in fear of hearing a (genetic) deterministic tone, and the rest in fear of identifying with anything in the book. But what a wonderful book it was with all its different voices! I bought this book in the mad hurry of an Amazon sale and I didn't read it for quite some time, part in fear of hearing a (genetic) deterministic tone, and the rest in fear of identifying with anything in the book. But what a wonderful book it was with all its different voices!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Siddhartha

    It's called the Book of Light as it sheds light on the plight of families where a member has a different mind. Some of the stories do manage to do so! My favourite was Danielle. It's called the Book of Light as it sheds light on the plight of families where a member has a different mind. Some of the stories do manage to do so! My favourite was Danielle.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ved Prakash

    All of us have some idea about the sufferings of people with mental illness. We do empathise and sympathize with them or may feel repulsive towards them, depending on our own mental health. But more often than not, the condition of their immediate relatives are overlooked. Most of us are not in a position to feel the situations they have to face. This book is a collection of 13 real life stories seen through the heart of people who suffered and/or coped with the situations when a close/immediate All of us have some idea about the sufferings of people with mental illness. We do empathise and sympathize with them or may feel repulsive towards them, depending on our own mental health. But more often than not, the condition of their immediate relatives are overlooked. Most of us are not in a position to feel the situations they have to face. This book is a collection of 13 real life stories seen through the heart of people who suffered and/or coped with the situations when a close/immediate family member was suffering with mental illnes. Many unanswered questions keep on haunting the family members. They might feel that they could have done this or that to avoid the loved ones migration towards mental illness which many times lead to death by suicide even. They might go through a feeling of guilt for whole life even. The very first story is by Sukant Deepak, son of famed Hindi writer Swadesh Deepak. Swadesh Deepak suffered from bipolar disorder, did a couple of suicide attempts, lived away from the world for many years, did a come back, wrote his famous book on his own mental illness and then one fine morning, in the year 2006, went for a walk and never returned. On his disappearance, there was a collective sigh of relief in his family. The son, the daughter, the wife hoped to never see his face again. There is another story about an abusive woman who made the life of her husband and her daughter hell. Here the woman was schizophrenic. The daughter, the one who is telling the story to us, ends the chapter with following lines -- "Two years after her death, I lie in bed sometimes and sniff the air for her smell, the smell I remember, the smell of home. And I wonder: have I forgiven?" Then there are stories about a single working guy who had to nurse his schizophrenic mother who later developed cancer also, an abandoned new born baby girl who found caring family but the childhood trauma was permanently itched in her psyche, a girl from a matriarchal society suffering from depression which lead to suicide, a career wise failure guy in a family of high repute turning to alcoholic and being abandoned to death, a couple with autistic child, a bold and independent girl falling in love with a foreigner and just a couple of days before tying the knot his schizophrenia comes to light, an alcoholic doctor who was good for his patients but just a breathing sack for his family, a jovial doctor who gradually slipped into bipolar disorder, a successful mathematician lady who lost her sanity and one day she would have literally slit the throat of her daughter in her sleep but somehow bette sense prevailed at the nick of time. This girl wanted her father to get rid of this mad mother but her father always replied, "You didn't know her when she was Normal." After reading these stories one can feel that how much courage would have required to write about that particular part of their life. A must read book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Booxoul

    Jerry’s mother was bipolar. It began when he (her second child) was born. When it got worst, she tried killing herself several times, by jumping in front of a bus or cutting her wrist or running off with Jerry, a toddler, on her tow. Jerry created a novel (read the review here) from his experiences of living with a mother who was mentally ill. Jerry’s book unleashed many such stories from people who have read and loved EM. At one of his book readings, a woman asked him to collect all these storie Jerry’s mother was bipolar. It began when he (her second child) was born. When it got worst, she tried killing herself several times, by jumping in front of a bus or cutting her wrist or running off with Jerry, a toddler, on her tow. Jerry created a novel (read the review here) from his experiences of living with a mother who was mentally ill. Jerry’s book unleashed many such stories from people who have read and loved EM. At one of his book readings, a woman asked him to collect all these stories and create a book called ‘A book of light’. To create awareness about mental illness in our society. This book is a testament to the fact that, it often takes one person’s action to move and mobilize many towards the same goal. The introduction piece of this book is written by Jerry himself. He has written it delicately, choosing each word carefully lest he hurts his readers. He has pointed out some hard-hitting truth a family faces while taking care of a loved one. The entire piece is honest and hits just right. It is powerful enough to keep you wondering for days. The book contains 13 stories. All revolving around the same theme of ‘when a loved one has a different mind’. Some are written fondly, some in grief, others in guilt, betrayal, remorse, and even regret. One could feel the helplessness, confusion, sadness, and denial a family goes through at such times. Each story is special in its own way because each gives glimpses of something very personal and intimate. If I had to pick my favorites of these stories, I would probably pick these five. ‘Papa, Elsewhere‘, ‘Daniella‘, ‘The Man under the staircase‘, ‘Anna‘, and ‘Some questions for a brother‘. First one was about a bipolar father, who then went missing, the family took a sigh of relief. The second was about a mother’s denial about her daughter’s depression. The third was about depression, and how it rears its ugly head. The last one was about regret and guilt for not reaching out when there was still time. Only thumbs down with this book is that writing is not consistent throughout, which is quite obvious, as all writers are different. Few stories are well written, while some are weak in their narration and flow. If writing style is something you can ignore, then it’s definitely a good read. Because what matters here is the emotions with which each story was written.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Maddy

    I happened upon this book by chance at my last trip to the local used book store and it seemed interesting so I picked it up. I was not prepared for how these stories would affect me. I couldn’t really put the book down once I picked it up. Initially, the idea of the book made me a little wary, fearing that the mentally ill family members might all be demonized. That didn’t exactly happen here, but gave several voices the opportunity to show the personal difficulty of addressing mental health in I happened upon this book by chance at my last trip to the local used book store and it seemed interesting so I picked it up. I was not prepared for how these stories would affect me. I couldn’t really put the book down once I picked it up. Initially, the idea of the book made me a little wary, fearing that the mentally ill family members might all be demonized. That didn’t exactly happen here, but gave several voices the opportunity to show the personal difficulty of addressing mental health in modern India. It’s even more stigmatized there than in the US. I felt terribly for most of the families in this collection. Most of the tales are heartbreakingly sad and end in the mentally ill family member’s untimely death or disappearance. I think the only light hearted story was the one with the parents of the boy with Autism. Every story is told by a family member of someone who had lived with a severe mental illness. Most of the mentally ill people had a form of bipolar disorder but there were at least two schizophrenics, a cancer patient, and a boy with autism. These stories all took place between the 1970s and 2016 in India. For some of the families in the story, treatment wasn’t possible or extremely difficult to come by. It’s very sad that the authors had to live with parents, siblings, children, and other relatives who suffered but couldn’t receive treatment due to severe social stigma and lack of access to medicines/treatments. Some of the stories were more similar to what people would be familiar with in the US. Most of the writers in this collection came from middle class and educated backgrounds so their experiences were similar to what might be experienced by a middle class family with mentally ill members in America. They had accounts of pill regimes, ECT treatments, and facing the various symptoms of an illness together. I gave this collection 4 stars! This book will tear your heart out but if you are an empathetic person or have been affected by mental illness at all in your life, whether its a family member, dear friend, or yourself, this story collection will speak volumes. Mental health is a global issue and affects people from all nations, races, classes, genders, religions, and sexual orientations. While this gave me some hope, it just clarifies to me that the governments around the globe have to do a better job of providing good mental healthcare their people all around the world.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Manasa Tantravahi

    Well, after a long non-literary slumber, I ordered myself @mahimkajerry's 'A Book of Light' on a friend's recommendation, and set about apprising myself on.. wait. What, exactly? What's the book about? What do I take away from this anthology? What do I find myself enriched by? . Starting from the polite disclaimers in the Introduction that somehow makes you pause straight-up, followed by 170 pages of instances of grief, instances of guilt, of confusion, of pain, of questions that largely went unan Well, after a long non-literary slumber, I ordered myself @mahimkajerry's 'A Book of Light' on a friend's recommendation, and set about apprising myself on.. wait. What, exactly? What's the book about? What do I take away from this anthology? What do I find myself enriched by? . Starting from the polite disclaimers in the Introduction that somehow makes you pause straight-up, followed by 170 pages of instances of grief, instances of guilt, of confusion, of pain, of questions that largely went unanswered, this book gives you exactly what the title promises. Some light, in periods of darkness. So, why should you pick up this book, you ask? We live in difficult times. We're surrounded by loved ones, or maybe we ourselves?, who find that they are unable to carry on any longer, be it a storm in their minds that needs calming or a struggle to break out of toxic patterns, addictions. This book won't serve as a weapon, no sir. But, it sits down with you and gives you the patience you deserve, as you struggle to understand the code to life, the formula for the 'normal'. . Jerry's easing you into awareness, once again, and has managed to deliver, note to admirers of 'Em'. I can't pick favourites, the way I do with most anthologies, for to each their own story of anguish and enlightenment. I can, however, show you some of the parts that made me ponder. Swipe right. Take a look. Oh, and get this book. Let some light in.

  24. 5 out of 5

    KhepiAri

    Non-fiction and not top of that an anthology of memoirs is not for me. And how well my soul sister knows me? She looks at the cover loves it and reads what's in the blurb and buys it for me despite knowing my preference. I have not read Jerry Pinto's novel. I have read his quirky articles and poetry and I have had the pleasure to see him once. Its an anthology of people who had an ill relative, or as here it's put loved ones with a different mind. From bi-polar to schizophrenia to depression to au Non-fiction and not top of that an anthology of memoirs is not for me. And how well my soul sister knows me? She looks at the cover loves it and reads what's in the blurb and buys it for me despite knowing my preference. I have not read Jerry Pinto's novel. I have read his quirky articles and poetry and I have had the pleasure to see him once. Its an anthology of people who had an ill relative, or as here it's put loved ones with a different mind. From bi-polar to schizophrenia to depression to autism, it talks about loved ones with mental illness. Jerry says the experiences are webbed in the upper-middle and middle-class society. And it is so. It's also a book of confession, learning and coming in terms with the hush-hush attitude towards mental well being. Not all stories are happy, some end in suicide, some losing the essence of life after taking the dreadful pills, brilliant minds going astray. Overall living with a person who has mental issues is not easy, it takes courage and will-power of a family and support from friends. Amandeep Sandhu's mother's story touched me the most. Patricia Mukhim's coming in term with her own troubles and constant denial of her daughter's trouble is apt, that's how we deal with mental illness- denial. Its time we talk about mental health and it's problems.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nivedita Dhar

    This book is a strong example of how to be vocal for mental illness, especially when you are living with that person day and night and witnessing their struggles. This book has forwarded the experiences of their beloved ones. Each story contains different experience but problem one, their mental illness and their own suffering. It’s a struggle from both side, the person who is going through the phase and to them who are seeing them suffer daily and gradually their suffering is taking away from t This book is a strong example of how to be vocal for mental illness, especially when you are living with that person day and night and witnessing their struggles. This book has forwarded the experiences of their beloved ones. Each story contains different experience but problem one, their mental illness and their own suffering. It’s a struggle from both side, the person who is going through the phase and to them who are seeing them suffer daily and gradually their suffering is taking away from their support system. Please, every single person should read this book. It’s important. It’s really important to know what is called “Mental Illness “. Highly recommended... 5⭐️

  26. 4 out of 5

    Priya sankar

    Intimate and personal stories of people and their loved ones. How does one deal with someone going through ups and downs of mental health. It is really courageous to share something this personal. By putting these stories out, they have made it easier for others to talk about it. And to understand a little bit more about someone’s suffering and empathise with those family members who take care of them.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shisha Chhotray

    Would have given all stars if it wouldn't have been a completely heartbreaking and depressing journey for me. This book is recommended to only those who can handle the pain differently. The stories bring a lot of strength and the people going through all those illnesses and their families come off as the strongest. A great composition of every story, the way of dealing with it and the at the end, there's not much you can do other than love this life and people in it. Would have given all stars if it wouldn't have been a completely heartbreaking and depressing journey for me. This book is recommended to only those who can handle the pain differently. The stories bring a lot of strength and the people going through all those illnesses and their families come off as the strongest. A great composition of every story, the way of dealing with it and the at the end, there's not much you can do other than love this life and people in it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    xc3lsior

    A collection of anecdotes. From what I gather, this is not a self help book; at the same time it can be of much more use than a self help book. I would recomment not to have a negative mindset after reading the first page as the book is really what the title says. In one of the story, I felt like that the title was cheated but the story in itself was beautiful. I actually wish to give it a 3.5 but I'm not able to so a 3 will suffice. A collection of anecdotes. From what I gather, this is not a self help book; at the same time it can be of much more use than a self help book. I would recomment not to have a negative mindset after reading the first page as the book is really what the title says. In one of the story, I felt like that the title was cheated but the story in itself was beautiful. I actually wish to give it a 3.5 but I'm not able to so a 3 will suffice.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nirbhay Kanoria

    A lovely collection of essays of people who've lived with family members suffering from mental health issues- be is schizophrenia, depression, etc. It's heartening to see that the taboo around mental illness is slowly lifting and people are coming forward with these stories. The writing and Jerry Pinto's editing is excellent. A lovely collection of essays of people who've lived with family members suffering from mental health issues- be is schizophrenia, depression, etc. It's heartening to see that the taboo around mental illness is slowly lifting and people are coming forward with these stories. The writing and Jerry Pinto's editing is excellent.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ami Mehta

    A book of light Nice read. This book throws a light on people suffering from mental illness, which is incomprehensible by the so called 'normal world'. Gives us an opportunity to learn their struggles. A book of light Nice read. This book throws a light on people suffering from mental illness, which is incomprehensible by the so called 'normal world'. Gives us an opportunity to learn their struggles.

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