The girls featured in all the stories are like Kintsukuroi Dolls; they’re all broken, but are slowly putting themselves together.
Stories of Resilience written by Ramendra Kumar showcases how adolescent girls battle the toughest of odds with the help of Protsahan India Foundation, an NGO fighting against Child Abuse, and emerge triumphant. It retells stories of dogged determination and unmatched resilience.
Ishika Kiran reviews Stories of Resilience.
I received the book Stories of Resilience by Ramendra Kumar as a gift from the author himself.
And, even after I finished reading it, the stories have stuck with me.
The book is a collection, in the words of Sonal Kapoor (Founder Director of Protsahan India Foundation, which has made a significant impact on the lives of every girl featured in the book), “of children who have mastered themselves in te face of extreme violence and adversity and became tiny incredible leaders of the world around them”.
The first thing about the book that caught my eye was the illustration on the cover page. It’s of a girl standing on a threshold, holding the doors open and staring at the wide world outside.
What’s also notable is that the open door is the only source of light in the otherwise dark room.
So for me, it was the cover that set the tone for the book – a collection of tales recounting the bravery of children who refused to let their circumstances shatter them and who, instead of wallowing in the darkness forever, reached the light because of their resilience, and Protsahan (support, quite literally).
The book starts with a short adaptation of Maya Angelou’s poem ‘I Rise’, highlighting the unbreakable tenacity and the courage of people who refuse to bow down to adversity.
Reading the stories was like going on a roller-coaster ride where the downs were feelings of utter despair and the ups, glowing beacons of hope.
And, I must say, it was quite the ride.
They say that pain births art, and the stories of these children prove this saying right.
One channels her pain through henna, another uses her paintbrush as the medium.
One battles her addiction through her passion for photography, another finds a home through her poetry.
The girls featured in all the stories are like Kintsukuroi Dolls; they’re all broken, but are slowly putting themselves together, their cracks filled in with gold.
The story that touched me, more than the others, is the story of Krupa, who even in the face of rejection, refused to give up on her ambition.
One of the best things about the book is that the book ends with the song Ekla chalo re, which puts a beautiful and fitting end to the tone set by the poem, and the cover-art, at the beginning.
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