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‘A Long Way Home’ by Mitali Meelan is a book which sensitively portrays the tussle between family, siblings and their dreams.
‘Home is where the heart is’. Growing up in a sweet home, the benefits that children reap are countless.
”Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction”-Anne Sullivan.
When it comes to children’s careers, many parents impose a lot, they become extra cautious. It is marked by more surveillance and it creates a sudden burst of volcanoes. From there, their difference of opinion starts and it takes many twist and turns.
This is one of the causes of rift in the Adhikari family in the book ‘A Long Way Home’ by Mitali Meelan. A couple in the suburbs of Mumbai with three children- two boys and a girl, are shocked to find their children going in a different direction from the way they were directed or expected to go. A major weapon used by the children at this point is lie. I quote from page 222- “I have been so disappointed in my children, so much so that I’m starting to question myself and your upbringing. First, my daughter, then both of you. Where did you three learn to lie and fool people so much?”
The feelings, the mood and the reactions of the parents are finely crafted and the lively arguments and discussions at home has found place in the book perfectly. The author handles the situation in an unbiased way, presenting the plus and minus of both the children and the parents. Even children long for appreciation and it is best described on page 134 “I had wanted nothing but my father to look at me with brimming eyes, his wrinkled hand patting my back, telling me he was proud of me, of my choice and of whatever I’ve chosen to do with my life”.
The author has given a light description of the Mumbai skyline, summer, traffic, way of life, restaurants, colleges, student’s life, campus interviews, relationship between the employer and employee, business tactics, shopping centres, bloggers, impact of social media and the cost of living too. Three children from a middle class family cross their childhood with lots of memories right from sharing bed rooms, cycles, sibling-wars, jokes, drawings and many more. The author clearly sends a message to all the children out there in page 82 of the book –‘’Trying to be someone you’re not and shredding pieces of yourself-like principles and values – to fit in and please others is a one way ticket to the land of misery.”
Mitali Meelan is successful in bringing out the true pictures of a family with diverse interest and ideas in about 312 pages. This is her second book. She is also the creator of ‘Coffee And Ordinary Life And The Guest’.
To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe-Anatole France.
In many cases children just dream, but they don’t put the required effort, because only desire is not enough to make dreams come true. The author puts forth before the readers the steps to climb to reach a target. I quote from page 180 of the book , “A dream like this…it had to be backed by experience, research, knowledge, support and a generous investment. Knowing where you wanted to be wasn’t enough while starting a business. You needed to figure out exactly how you’d reach there, before you even began your journey.”
A sense of fulfillment is achieved when we accomplish a goal. The author beautifully puts it in these words- I quote from page-174,” A rush of cool relief calmed me. I promise I won’t leave.Taking in the hustle, the heat and the rhythmic, chaotic noises of steel against the steel, I got to preparing custard. That moment, a euphoric sensation began to seep in and the contrast of how I felt in the concrete walls of confinement and in this free-spirited frenzied workplace was astonishing.”
The children should speak about their dreams and ambitions with their parents, and parents should support and encourage their true interests.
”Teach your children poetry; it opens the mind, lends grace to wisdom and makes the heroic virtues hereditary””- Walter Scott
Author’s note: (Received a copy of the book from WRITER’S MELON in return of an honest review).
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