By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 10 Mar: Blue skies and sunshine welcomed author Subhadip Mazumdar to Dehradun on Saturday. He had an important appointment to keep with a group of people who are close to his heart, because of their work with Adults with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities. Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition that especially affects an individual in the core areas of communication, social interaction, and behaviour.
Subhadip’s 6 year old son is on the Autism Spectrum too.
Arunima: A Project for Persons with Autism, was the venue for the launch of Subhadip’s latest book – Orange Sky & Blue Sun. He was welcomed warmly by the residents, day trainees and staff of the organization, as well as guests from other organizations working with people with special needs.
Orange Sky & Blue Sun, is a collection of short stories, or as the author refers to it, “a collection of emotions”. The title itself prods the reader to ‘challenge the defaults of life, and the protocols that are institutionalized for convenience.’ The stories are set across two continents, Asia, and Australia – the latter being where Subhadip has lived and worked for some years now. There are stories of transitions, of challenging the norm, failures, hope, as well as acceptance. One story, particularly poignant in the author’s case, is of the introduction to autism for a family living below the poverty line, in a village. What happens when you do not have access to latest advancements in therapies, because of location, and most often, because of the prohibitive costs involved?
Interestingly, even though Subhadip’s visit to Arunima was driven by his own experiences and plans for his boy, SHOMBHU SALESMAN is the only story in this collection that talks about disabilities. With this, Mazumdar drives home the point that this story belongs in the mainstream, just like the other stories do. Autism is an unfamiliar term to most people, and is brought to the fore of awareness when a family member is diagnosed with it. The author has chosen a simple but creative way to intersperse it with stories that the regular booklover will read.
Subhadip read an excerpt from SHOMBHU SALESMAN to the guests in attendance, and later signed copies for the people present.
The author’s post on social media this morning as he was waiting to board his Dehradun bound flight read :
Early Morning… Busy airport… Dreams floating.. corporate honchos flying amidst the chaos of families trying to keep their luggage and children together…amidst awaits a struggling dreamer.. sipping his coffee…waiting to fly with wings borrowed… thinking of Rusty..
So looking forward to the most important book event yet of my life in Dehradun
It was an inspirational day all around. The skies above Dehradun have turned orange, and the sun, blue.