Title : If I had to Tell it Again
Author: Gayathri Prabhu
My Ratings: 4.5/5
Sixty-six years of a lifetime gone. There would be no funeral. He had donated his body to the local medical college. It was part of his script, his fantasy about death. He would show his hospital donation certificate to anyone who came to our house. No rituals for me, he would announce. To his mind there was some justice in being cut up by medical students. He had wanted to be a doctor. There is his corpse, lying on the floor, people constantly milling around, talking about his untimely, unfortunate death, while I stare at everyone in dry-eyed annoyance. He had always been a popular man, much loved, generous to a fault to his neighbours, even if angry towards his own family. I just want him gone from the house. When the van from the morgue comes to pick him up, everyone urges us to touch his feet, to ask for his blessings. It is expected from children of dead parents. Everyone watches us. You first, an old man points to me, my father s first-born. I bend down, my fingers touch his feet. In my mind the words form, loud and distinct I forgive you.
Thank you #HarperCollinsIndia for the review copy.
Memoirs never comes the easy way and I am no one to judge it. The knotted emotions in a daughter’s heart found their way to the world through her pen.
This memoir is saga of triumph of a daughter against the vagaries of her life,a strained daughter – father relationship,a depressed father who lived in denial,a sister who is the only support and a wife who quivered under the shadow of her mercurial husband.
Memoir starts with the death of author’s father owing to liver cirrhosis. The reader view a dead father through the eyes of a victimized daughter. A daughter who lost her childhood to overburdening expectation of a failed father, he forced her to grow up before she was supposed to. Her father wanted to live in the glory of her success but never taught her how to deal with failures.The author has talked about serious issues like child abuse and domestic violence which often remain hidden under the curtain of shame and modesty.She has talked about depression,how it engulfed her,her admittance and her battle to recovery.
Chinna was her constant companion in the difficult time.They shared a wonderful understanding.Being a dog person I could easily relate to their bonding and Chinna’s undulating devotion towards her.
Only boundless gratitude can begin to comprehend this gift lying in my lap, this gift of life and love.
The language is augmented with rich vocabulary which makes it a great reading experience. The author is undoubtedly a wordsmith.The way she wrote left in awe.The plot is rich and flow is great.Her writing is unvarnished and engaging.Being a first born to a volatile father I could easily identify with many situations.It was a emotionally exhaustive read for me. I could not read it in one sitting.But learnt a great deal from this.
A huge applause to the Gayathri Prabhu for writing this beautiful piece ,it takes a brave heart to write such crude version. I loved the minimalistic cover and the engaging prologue.
Few lines from the memoir which I loved-
Birth is accidental,death inevitable
Between birth and death, a life of worry
And yet this desire to live, till the end.
Chinna learnt to sleep when G slept,woke the instant she did, licked her face when she cried, shadowed her every step,countering human bleakness with animal warmth.She willed G to life.
I loved reading the book and will surely read it again. I will recommend the book to anyone who is ready to go through a emotional roller caster journey as it may drive you to tears at some points.