- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Aleph Book Company (11 February 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9789382277316
- ISBN-13: 978-9382277316
- ASIN: 9382277315
- Package Dimensions: 19.6 x 13.2 x 1.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 62 customer reviews
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
#14,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #3508 in Literature & Fiction (Books)
Em and the Big Hoom Paperback – 11 Feb 2013
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I dived into this story, not knowing anything. The story is about, quite literally, em and the big hoom, the narrator’s parents. It was refreshing to read a love story that is discovered by the couple’s son through the various letters that he discovers by the letters that his patents had written to each other. This is the way he discovers that his parents are more than parents, they were people with identities that were quite different from what he now takes for granted. He discovers that his parents had a life that did not include him, and was in fact quite beautiful.
The characterization and the narration were such that I could actually visualize the family having tea in their balcony when em was in one of her “good” moods. Personally, em is one character that was quite novel, and yet, so raw that I could instantly feel a connect with her. The life that she wanted to live was quite different than the life she had to live. She was a working woman in the last decade of the twentieth century, the bread winner of her family, and at one point of time, earning more than her beau. Life was perfect. But the society did not think so. The society thought that a woman would not be complete unless she did not get married and had kids. Em, being a ‘good daughter’ got married and had kids. But the cost that she paid, the cost of her independence, of her life, was something that she was quite vocal about.
We see many books, movies, TV shows and in fact, all over social media, mothers are these “sacred” creatures, revered to the extent that they loose their individuality and are nothing other than “mother”, except maybe a wife and a daughter in law. This book takes you inside the mind of a mother, who did not really want it all and that too through the mind of her son!
The book also does excellent justice to the state of mental health in India, at the time. The treatment and the general attitude of the people towards those who are “mad”. The impact of living with a person who is termed such, the impact of being the children and the husband of a mad woman, all are perfectly described.
All in all, a must read.
I loved everything about this novel, from narration to the language. The scenes described, the wordgasm, the family dynamics, and the typical Goan essence within the texts. It was whole-hearted mesmerizing read for me.
I have a soft corner for this novel, not just that I'm from Goa myself but also because it has touched a lot of sensitive topics which are not often talked about. Mental illness is one among them and I am overwhelmed to read such a novel which mainly focuses on such an issue.
Talking about mental illness is often regarded as a taboo and is neglected by many due to unawareness about it.(at least the place I live in). Simple problems such as anxiety, depression and social isolation which are too common to us when neglected can arise major issues in the future leading to psychotic disorders like bipolar and manic. Later on, people with such disorders are looked down upon for their condition. But what we fail to understand is that actual disability or disorder is not in them, it's within us who do not care about such people. If we try to educate our self and aware people about it then maybe that can make a difference. :)
It is a story of four love battered people: mother, father, son, daughter and the struggle they go through as a family in keeping up with normalcy even with Em's depression and her frequent attempts of suicide.
The author has done great justice to the subject and the narration is something that keeps you hooked all the time. You hardly come across books on mental health issues and that too in India. Great work.
Talking about amazon's product delivery it was prompt as usual and i received the book in 2 days.Em and the Big Hoom