The story of Malala is at once endearing and heartbreaking. Told as a simple narrative it pulls at the heartstrings with every line.
“I come from a country which was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.
One year ago, I left my home for school and never returned. I was shot by a Taliban bullet and was flown out of Pakistan unconscious. Some people say I will never return home but I believe firmly in my heart that I will. To be torn from the country that you love is not something to wish on anyone.”
So begins the Prologue: The Day My World Changed. This is the story of Malala. The dedication in the front is strong and calls out to other girls who have been suppressed. It reads: To all the girls who have faced injustice and been silenced. Together we will be heard.
Told in first person by it speaks of the events that lead up to that fateful day October 9, 2012. Why was Malala targeted? She was a campaigner for peace in the Swat valley and also for the right of girls to go to school.
The book is in five parts — the life of Malala from the time she is born. The very first line is touching. She says, “When I was born, people in our village commiserated with my mother and nobody congratulated my father.” Under no circumstance was a girl child a welcome addition to the family.
Malala is a fighter. Her story brings out her courage and determination and the indefatigable spirit within her. She studies in Kushal School. A school founded by her father.
She loves to be there. She describes the entrance to her school — “For us girls that doorway was like a magical entrance to our own special world”.
She talks of her life in Swat Valley and through all the difficulties — the weather, the crime, the Taliban, the strictures…she finds a silver lining.
The book is simply written and every page is riveting. The descriptions are vivid and paint dramatic pictures. This is a story of a fighter. She was shot on a Tuesday and by Thursday her family were convinced she would die. However, with intervention from top doctors and specialists, by Thursday she was airlifted to Rawalpindi. From there she was moved to Birmingham.
The story ends on a positive note: The new year of 2013 was a happy one when I was discharged from hospital…
I AM MALALA, The Girl Who
Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban, Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb,
Hachette, Rs. 595