Friday, April 5, 2013

From the eye of my mind by TGC Prasad

Book : From the Eye of my mind
Author : TGC Prasad
Genre : Fiction
Publisher : Random House (Ebury)
Copy source :
My rating : 4/5

Blurb from the back cover of the book

I am eighteen years old and five feet six inches tall. I have  big eyes,long fingers ,and I am healthy because I eat my food on time.I also have a mole on my left palm. Grandma says," Mole on the palm is bad luck.' Eric Hoffer, an American writer, said ,'A great man's greatest good luck is to die at the right time.'I wondered what a right time to die was? I feel I have an eye in my mind and I close it when I am with strangers. 

Mallika is autistic and lives in a strangely whimsical yet ordered world of her own.When her mother breaks the news to her that her beloved brother Ananth is going to be married. Mallika's fragile world collapses. How will she deal with a stranger in her life and home? Told in an inimitable style, From the eye of my mind  is a charming tale of acceptance,love and a beautiful mind.

My thoughts 

I have an autistic cousin whose brother is getting married in a few months. So, when I got to know about this book ,I didn't think twice before wanting to read it. I hadn't read any reviews about the book then.Now that I have finished reading the book, I am happy that I picked it up. From the Eye of my mind is a charming , sensitive book. The story line is fairly simple and told from the POV of an 18-year old autistic child. She loves humming beetles songs ,  downloads and reads anything she can lay her hands on and is a mini encyclopedia of sorts. Her world is shattered when her big brother decides to get married . Mallika doesn't know how to deal with the new 'stranger' in her life. The rest of the story is about Mallika's journey towards acceptance. 

I don't know much about autistic children , except that certain faculties are extremely well-developed , while certain others(particularly social interactions)  are lacking . TGC Prasad wonderfully captures Mallika's thought process well and has let his simple story-telling style shine. One can't by start loving Mallika and her  motley  family. I quite liked Mallika's dad's charecter - a hen-pecked mild-mannered LIC officer who sells LIC policies to all and sundry.Other characters are also extremely believable. I also loved the way Mallika spouts trivia  at the most inopportune moments.. The book is totally adorable, I have to say.

The story is not just about Mallika's acceptance of the her sister-in-law , but also about the family coming to terms with a new addition to their family. Mallika's mother's attitude grated on my nerves , but I am willing to concede that a lot of Indian women with sons of marriageable age think that way, and that it is very representative of the thinking of the Indian middle class. I would have given a 5 , but decided against it because I didn't like the way the ending was handled.It was a little rushed and dramatic for my comfort. Maybe I am too much of a feminist to accept  the brother wanting  his new bride to quit work to help his mother cook and take care of his sister. Which is why the book gets a 4 from me. 

Overall , a lovely book that is breezy and poignant at the
same time. One would be reminded of Mark Haddon's The curious incident of a dog in night's time. But this book is very Indian in the context and brims with extremely believable characters  not to mention being narrated from the POV of an extremely adorable and intelligent child.   

My rating : 4/5 

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  1. Nice review! I loved 'The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-Time'. After reading your comparison of Prasad's book with it, now I want to read 'From the Eye of My Mind'. It looks like the book's depiction of south Indian society is quite realistic. I also found it interesting that the the brother wants his wife to quit her job and help his mother to cook. I wonder what happened after that. Thanks for this wonderful review.

  2. hey, thanks for dropping by.. I loved Dog in the Night time too.. It is very representative of the South Indian society.. will get this book for the next meet. Its not nearly as poignant as Dog in the night time, but a lovely read.