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Thursday, November 28, 2019

Book Review - Being Reshma: The Extraordinary Story of an Acid-Attack Survivor Who Took the World by Storm by Reshma Qureshi with Tania Singh

Being Reshma by Tania Singh
My Rating - 3 out of 5 stars
Publisher - Pan Macmillan
Genre - Biography/Non-Fiction
Publishing year - 2018
Language - English 
ISBN - 978-93-86215-52-9
Pages - 230



My Review - 
While my journey has had and will continue to have dark moments, I am thankful that it has, for the most part, been beautiful, honest, victorious.

It is a story of Reshma Qureshi, an acid attack survivor written by Tania Singh. In 2014, Reshma was attacked by her elder sister Gulshan's husband, Jamaluddin, and his two acquaintances. She was seventeen years old at that time and going to the exam center. Little did he know that that day will gonna change her life forever. 

Born and brought up in Mumbai, Reshma lives in a chawl with his parents, two elder brothers, Riyaz, Aizaz, and sisters, Gulshan, and Nargis. Being the youngest child, she was everyone's favorite. When their mother diagnosed with a fatal disease, they all made sacrifices so that everything went smoothly, including Reshma's education. Her childhood memories were filled with good and bad recollections, but she was able to find happiness in little things. 

When she was twelve, her sister Gulshan got married to Jamaluddin, they didn't know that he and his family is a narrow-minded, greedy, and abusive. Soon Gulshan was blessed with a boy, Saufi. After a few years, she gives birth to a girl, Riza. But the demand for dowry is increasing day by day. Gulshan suffers domestic violence, and at last, her parents decide that Gulshan and her children will live with them. Things were falling into the right place, but ten days before the acid attack, Jamaluddin kidnap Saufi. The family was devastated, and Jamaluddin plans an attack on Gulshan, but Reshma caught between all these. 

One cannot describe the pain and suffering she endures. She didn't get the treatment for hours. The inhumane nature of doctors, nurses, and police officers disturb me. The lack of facilities, money, and laws will stand in front of Reshma, she thinks of suicide; try it on numerous occasions. She deals with PTSD and depression, in all the chaos; she finds hope and purpose through Make Love Not Scars organization. The founder of the organization Ria Sharma crowdfunded money for Reshma's treatment. A long-drawn but meaningful journey begins for Reshma; when she became the face of the #endacidsale campaign. 

Although, I didn't feel that Tania Singh did justice with the novel. She wrote all about the organization's feats, but being a reader, I want to know about Reshma's family reaction when she did a ramp walk in New York. How their lives change after Reshma got global recognization?

On the day of the attack, Gulshan's hand came in the contact with acid, but no one paid any heed to her. Whether she received the treatment at all? The author didn't mention a single time; about the courtroom proceedings. Did they file a report against Jamaluddin? What was the police doing? Did they catch him or not? Did Saufi return to her mother? Did Reshma get justice? All the important questions were left unanswered like it doesn't matter. 

Reading her story gives me chill, and I appreciate how brave she is. She is a courageous woman who has a long way to go. I have my questions and issues with the narration, but I still think that you read this book. There are very few people who work to make a change in the world. She is one of them, she is a survivor. Her story moves my soul, and I hope she achieves everything she wants in her life. 

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