22 October, 2020

Common Loss

Heart in the right place, but the simplistic, linear narrative does injustice to the world of special needs

Common Loss

A slim, semi-autobigraphical story of a housewife who, having recently returned to India from the US, becomes art teacher at a school for children with cerebral palsy after a chance encounter with an old classmate.

A book with its heart in the right place, obviously, but the simplistic, linear narrative would seem to do injustice to such a big and potentially interesting subject. Who would’ve imagined it ever possible but recent Bollywood successes like Black, Paa and Taare Zameen Par indicate that there is enough general appetite for the subject of disability to refrain from pussy-footing around the issues any more. An opportunity to gently unfold a fairly typical first-timer’s journey into the world of special needs is lost as the wide-eyed, often cringing protagonist is impressed by the worthiness of her own work and neglects to show that there is much laughter and joy too along the way.

(Jaishree Misra is the author of six novels, including the recent...



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