"uplifting, not depressing"
"a beautiful tribute"
"Makes the reader an empathetic fellow traveler"
"parents are people"
"Joy is still an option"
"Agastya Raj has a stroke that leaves him paralyzed from the neck down and unable to speak. As he lies in bed enveloped by a circle of love and care orchestrated 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 powerful, giving mother. His Voice is a sensitive portrayal of deep family roots and often unspoken bonds across four generations. With plenty of little twists in between that will make you nod and smile. "
"Regardless of your relationship with your parents, you will miss them when they are gone from your life"
- Maya Angelou
His Voice is a daughter's journey into her father's mind, to give voice to her father's unspoken thoughts and emotions during two tumultuous years when he was bedridden and unable to speak, thoughtfully dealing with a crisis where he has lost complete control of his life. It is a memoir, a life story, a perspective.
His Voice is about respect - how important it is to maintain the dignity of a person who is in a vulnerable state. It is about resilience – we have to work with what life throws at us. It is about realism, understanding that effort may not always yield the results one hopes for, but continuing, not giving up.
Most importantly, HIs Voice is a reminder that parents are people and request to all of you - even if you don't read the book, call your parents now, and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you.
connect, don't regret
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VOICES THAT SPEAK SILENTLY
Many of us have had to face the sorrow of having a loved one lying stricken and silent while we watched for a gesture, a sound, a sign of response. We have felt helpless and angry. But rarely has anyone gone into the mind of the stricken one and wondered what was passing through there. In ‘His Voice’ Rima Pande has done just that. She gives a voice to her father as he lies helpless in bed, unable to move, unable to speak.
Weaving together the memories of his earlier years and his overwhelming love for his family, his frustration at his inability to express himself and irritation with the well-meaning but clueless relatives who visit, the embarrassment of having someone take care of all the needs of the body and the gratitude for the love with which it is done, Pande has given us a narrative that feels authentic. One feels, yes, that is how he would have felt, this is what he would have said, if he could speak.
It is also a picture of how a family learns to cope with the disaster that has struck, and how everyone, including the small grandchildren, become a part of the circle that serves the patient. The sheer physical effort that such care involves which one doesn’t see unless one has experience it at first hand, the lack of any relief from the constant demands, the physical tiredness of the carers are there for us to see. A heart-warming book, that never descends into bitterness.
A REFRESHING LOOK INTO THE MIND OF A PARALYZED MAN
Rima Pande has written a thoughtful and engaging book. By speaking in her paralyzed father's voice she makes the reader an empathetic fellow traveler with the patient. We are forced to appreciate what must go on in a helpless person's mind as they are ministered to, as they see their loved ones live the stress and burden of being caregivers. It is an important book for caregivers to read. I really enjoyed the time travel, so to speak- Raj' s early life, juxtaposed with his current situation. At no time does the book devolve into wholly justifiable sentimentality. Glimpses of the author's own childhood, glimpses of the sexism that existed where the wife was relegated to second place when it came to career, more than glimpses of the grandfather- grandchildren relationships are all exposed with fleeting touches. I wish the book had gone on longer, but then I guess it would've just been more of the same. Knowing when to stop is also important...Must read!
HIS VOICE COMPELS YOU TO LOOK WITHIN
'His Voice' by Rima Pande is a sensitive portrayal of a difficult subject, deftly handled by the author with ease and perfection; understanding the psyche of an incapacitated father, the unconditional love, emotion and positive strength of mother, complete understanding & dignity in dealing with the patient by family members makes this book a MUST READ for all. The lighter side of life is well balanced & articulated. Congratulations to author Rima Pande for her marvellous debut. It will be an inspiration to all new authors in learning the art of steering serious subject with just the right mix of lighter moments. Would love to read this again and again.
It is an amazing book. Would strongly recommend this to all the book clubs, libraries and the literary award giving societies and authorities. Should even be included in Schools & colleges' syllabus for the family values depicted so well in this book.
A COMPELLING READ
A doting daughter’s brilliant attempt – as gleaned through her father’s eyes and facial expressions - to decipher what he went through during the last 2 years of his life, paralysed neck down and unable to speak. An attempt to share this with the world at large, to portray the travails, the challenges, the emotions in such situations – for the patient, as also for the families involved.
Through a fine narrative, so well-articulated, Rima is able to show how respect, dignity, love and affection can provide at least as much as, if not more than, what medical care can, to patients who find themselves in similar situations as her father – Agastya Raj in the book.
To anyone who would care to pick up the book – someone who can relate to similar incidents in their own midst, someone with elderly loved ones who may at some time go through their own health and related challenges, or even for each one of us who will at some point in time grow old and eventually move on, ‘His Voice’ is strongly recommended.
It is a book that will make us pause and reflect, that showcases dignity, respect and depth of relationships in the most challenging of situations, that inspires positivity in accepting a given situation and making the most of it. But most of all, it reflects a beautiful tribute – from a daughter to her father, from a wife to her husband, from a family to a loved one.
Once again, and without doubt – A Compelling Read.
EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF AN ORDINARY LIFE
Its a touching interplay of emotions with each character coming out genuine with his/her perspective. What goes on in a mind of an incapacitated body stirs the soul. Actually the whole narrative takes one through a plethora of emotions with extraordinary situations and challenges in ordinary lives making it unique. Sensitization to the needs of people with paralysis with some lessons to imbibe ............I found it a compelling and irresistible read.
A MOVING STORY - HIGHLY RECOMMEND
This is a beautifully written book. Though it is a quick read it easily and believably drops us off into one man and his families incredible journey. The book is a pleasure to read and even though the topic is difficult and sensitive it is handled with care.. I particularly enjoyed that we jumped back and forth between the past and present highlighting Raj's journey, successes and struggles.
Raj's story helps us think a bit deeper and understand what end of life care looks like from the perspective of someone who is unable to communicate. By frankly confronting the helplessness and pain that he is going through, Pande makes sure we reflect on our own humanity and our relationships with our loved ones.
healthcare strategy consultant by profession
at a macro level - hoping for a just and equitable world
at a human level - dignity and respect for every individual
dream of - zero hunger and malnutrition
parent to three amazing people
enjoy unstructured and experimental cooking, and “maximum” travel
favorite leisure activity - sitting outside in my Adirondack chair with a book when it is sunny and 22 Celsius