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Rare notes of courage and joy

Bindu Shajan Perappadan
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‘One Little Finger' is about journeying beyond barriers

A celebration of life: NDTV chairman Prannoy Roy releasing ‘One Little Finger' by Malini Chib (right) in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
A celebration of life: NDTV chairman Prannoy Roy releasing ‘One Little Finger' by Malini Chib (right) in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The book ‘One Little Finger' comes with a statutory warning from the author's mother: “This isn't a sad book”.

Instead the book, an autobiography by Malini Chib, is about her life as a woman with cerebral palsy and portrays her philosophy and ideology, her joys, sorrows and pain through laughter and humour, which is fun yet poignant.

Released amid a gathering of family and friends at India International Centre Annexe here on the International Day of the Disabled, the book (50,000 words) was written using a single finger by a determined Malini who said she “just needed to share her story with other people”. Releasing the book, NDTV chairman Prannoy Roy said: “If I was half the person Malini is I would be twice the man I am.”

The book launch was followed by reading by close family members.

Malini is a trustee of ADAPT (formerly The Spastics Society of India) and founder chairperson of ADAPT Right's Group. She is currently a senior event manager at Oxford book store in Mumbai.

“Malini was keen to get the book released on the International Day of the Disabled. The book talks about her life and brings to the readers the wit, humour and determination with which she leads her life as an ‘enabled' differently-abled person. In fact, we had to talk to Malini several times about allowing the painful aspects of her life to also feature in the book. A tear and smile has been the journey and that is what the readers will also find in the book. This isn't a sad book,” said Malini's mother at the function.

Malini admits that she had a tough time trying to communicate with people because her use of speech and hand is restricted. “However, when I got my electric wheelchair I was thrilled. It gave me tremendous sense of independence. My book now talks about how my parents had to leave India after I was born in search of proper diagnosis and treatment, spending half my life in England and other half in India and how with the help of one little finger I passed several exams on the computer, communicating through sms's, emails and a communicator,” said Malini.

“I have found strength to salute life and live it with laughter and humour and that is the message that I want to put across to my readers,” she added.

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