Author: Amitava Banerjee
Publisher: East West Books
ISBN/UPC (if available): 81-88661-76-7
Strains of raag Megh Malhar from Nikhil Banerjee’s sitar fill the house as the rain pours outside and Mouri wakes up to her eighteenth birthday, which marks a turning point in her young life. She is the special girl of the title, differently-abled but sustained by the intelligent care and unconditional love of her parents.
Exposed to music, laughter, family life and her native culture and history, she speaks frankly and knowledgeably of her condition and the strong pressures it exerts on her working parents, the callousness of medical practitioners who cover all sins with the blanket term, ‘delayed milestones’ and the effort and daring demanded of her father to confront the doctors to extract the truth of their precious daughter’s disability.
But above all, it is an emotional tale richly-enlaced with Bengali culture, tales of shared vacations, new victories won in singing learning, doing , despite the severe restrictions imposed by Mouri’s condition.
And through it all runs the music of sitars playing, the first lisps of Bengali nursery rhymes, Thakuma’s pithy saying and the triumph of the human spirit winning against inhuman odds.
The Birth Pangs
The First Encounter
Breaking the News
If Spiderwebs Unite
Creating a Family
Ten in a Bundle
Women, Not Omen