Book Review of Ahimsa By Supriya Kelkar

An Inspiring story from a 10 yr old’s perspective – Ahimsa

In this tech age, our kids and we have a pool of opportunities awaiting us. We are free to choose a lifestyle we want. We think of our freedom fighters only on national days. What if I told a 10-year-old girl participated in the freedom struggle? It sounds surprising and unbelievable, isn’t it? At an age where not many children are capable of doing things on their own, a 10-year-old girl decides to become the strength of her mother and also participates in the freedom struggle in her own ways. This book Ahimsa written by Supriya Kelkar is a story of a 10-year-old Anjali, a Brahmin whose Mother worked for British Raj, however, had to leave the job given the struggle of freedom that changed lives of many and marks itself as the biggest struggle for freedom in the history of the world.

Page Counts: 308 pages

Opening Sentence: They wouldn’t hang a ten-year-old-girl, thought Anjali, clenching a small tin of black paint.

Publisher: Scholastic

Publication Date: August 5th, 2018

Review

Ahimsa is a book from a 10 yr old’s perspective. Set in the year 1940s during India’s struggle for freedom. Her world is secure and happy because of her being from the privileged caste. Anjali and her best friend, have no care in the world. The innocence of their childhood is visible in the way they happily celebrate each other’s festivals.

When Anjali’s mother leaves her job at Capt, Brent, Anjali’s happy world falls apart. Anjali believes that her mother is fired from her work and decides to find out why given her attention to detail and reasoning. When she doesn’t get satisfactory answers, she and her partner in crime Irfan, vandalize the British property.  Soon she comes to know that her mother is going to be a freedom fighter which is the reason why she has quit her job. It is indeed difficult for a child to understand why her mother is doing what she is doing however it doesn’t take her long to start supporting her mother. She resonates with her mother about her limitations as a child while participating in the freedom fight and hence decides to take up teaching. She notices the difference in behavior towards the untouchables and starts imparting education to them.
I think this book doesn’t restrict itself to being a children’s book. It is fast paced and suits all age groups. While you are reading the book you are taken back to the era to experience what freedom struggle really was. Your heart definitely goes out to all those people who were at war then. As a society, we still have differences based on caste creed and color. We still have a section of society that treats some people as untouchables. The plight of untouchables was unimaginable then. We have definitely evolved and grown as a nation, however, I personally feel that we still need to free ourselves from certain societal barriers and unlock our contradicting thought process and be more open to change.

The narration is smooth and very easy to understand.  Author has done a very good job of weaving characters beautifully into the book. The Character, I most like is Mohan. The raw emotions he exuded were very potent and I was moved to tears many times. This book is a definite read for Kids and Young Adults. I am sure, even adults would enjoy this book.

I give it 4/5

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