Also available as : “Journey into the night”
Publication : Bill and Melinda Gates foundation
Authors : 16 ( including William Darlymple , Shobha De , Salman Rushdie , Vikram Seth and many others .)
The book tells 16 stories about aids in our own country . The writers have outdone themselves . Each one of them takes us into the darkest , deepest corners of the world where we ,the ‘civilized’ people would think twice before entering .
Dr.Toku’s fight for a respectable life and now he rises for the entire aids community . Salman Rushdie (surprisingly plain and to-the-point )takes us into the life of the hijra community and brings out the softer , vulnerable image ( rather than the preconceived crude one that we harbour ) .
Jaspreet Singh talks about the kids with aids . How they are surviving and fighting something that even adults shiver to think about .
Shobha De ( as candid as ever …but totally masala free ) talks about how her driver got aids and her own apprehensions and the feelings of hypocrisy that traveled through her .
Nalini Jones emphasizes the importance of love in such tough times ,and how aids afflicted couples walk hand in hand and support each other !
Kiran Desai talks about the life of sex workers in South India . A group struggling to gain respect and dignity .
Sunil Gangopadhyay takes us into the lanes of Sonagachchi . Where the sex workers have now joined hands and are making a place for themselves and a future for their kids .
Siddartha Deb talks about Manipur …where youngsters are busy fighting poverty and drug addiction . And succeeding , even though slowly .
William Dalrymple talks about the dev-dasis and their neglect and exploitation .
Amit chaudhari talks to doctors facing the monster of the disease everyday .
Vikram Seth’s heart touching poem on aids …
And Aman Sethi travels through the network of trucks , highways , dhabas and sex workers ..
Sonia Felario talks about the inhuman police …
Mukul Kesvan about the ridiculed , exploited and tortured gay community .
CS Lakshmi deals with the neglect of women for centuries …
And Siddartha Sanghvi talks about a spirited young man who crushes slowly under the disease .
All In all , not a book to be read before you sleep . But it will open your eyes and evoke empathy , concern and respect for those afflicted with this disease .
Pick it up …by the time you finish it ….. You’ll be a changed human being