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    Indian Autobiographies That Can Change Your Outlook Towards Life


    Originating in ancient time, autobiographical accounts are self-reflective form of journals, which serve as a passage to one’s life history and circumstances. Over the years, this form of writing has increased, leading various personalities to publish their memoirs for the normal public. While this tradition was started by powerful kings, it has now culminated into a form of rhetoric, wherein successful people spell off their life-story in the form of initial harsh struggle and later a move towards success. Mostly, following the pattern of struggle/failure and then outstanding success, there are also autobiographies which talk about constant struggles in emotional spheres of life. Apart from famed personalities of West, there a huge number of Indian autobiographies, despite not being famous, deserving of a dedicated read.

    Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam: Wings of Fire

    Known as the people’s president, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was one of the greatest president of India. Known for his simplicity and fondness towards civilian life, Dr. Kalam was a recipient of several awards including Bharat Ratna. In his autobiography, “Wings of Fire” he talks about his life before becoming a technologist. Hailing from an extremely backward family, he used to sell newspapers to make a living. Although  an average student at school, he was bright and very hardworking. Besides the political and technological twists that came in his life, the book talks a much about relationships and various religious and ethnic communities in India.  Enduring the trials and tribulations of life, he is one of the biggest inspiration for people who have the same fate like him.

    Flavia Agnes: Our Story Of Rebuilding Blocks

    Flavia Agnes is an Indian women’s rights lawyer, writing on themes of law and gender, issues of domestic violence, feminist movements, and minority rights. Grown up as an Indian christian, Agnes was born in Mumbai. This book authored by Agnes is one of the finest Indian autobiographies on the daily marital suffering of women. Despite being educated and seeing females of her family as influential, she endured a jeopardizing and menacing marriage for a long duration. The autobiography initially starting with her journey as a daughter, then a wife and then a mother-later brings into light the common plight of economic vulnerabilities of both women and children. She also brings into focus the concept of religion and societal values that play a major role in making the women submit to the demands of her psychopathic husband. The essence of physical and emotional torment which is brought up in the book is enough to move anyone to tears. While at the same time, undertaking a women’s movement at a ripe age, was one of the most persuasive factor for other feminists and women to stand up for the rights of their gender and children.

    Kamla Das: Ente Katha

    Kamla Das was an Indian poet and author known for her short stories and autobiography. KamlaDas’s Ente Katha, was one of the most controversial autobiographies which evoked both positive and violent reactions from critics. The autobiography is mainly her story as a brown girl and more importantly a “girl”, wherein she is subjected to biases more because of her gender. At the age of 15 she is married to a man, for whom she has no feeling nor does he fulfills her emotional needs. Although mostly talking about the disturbed marriage, the process of socialization of a girl and reinforcement of the values of shame and guilt in her conduct are explicitly discussed. The  Indian standards of beauty, submissive daughter and wife, showy and extravagant  Indian marriage, and openness in discussing female sexuality t impacts the reader to think from a different perspective.

    Mahatma Gandhi: The Story Of My Experiments With Truth

    Father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography is one of the most famous autobiography in the world. Mostly dedicated to his experiments related to moral and truth in life, this book as a revelation of how non-violence and harmony were the key to success. Despite thousands of violent efforts to free India, the only thing which worked for the good of the nation was non-violence. Although the proceedings of the movement are quite debatable, yet he remains one of the greatest freedom fighters and has a major contribution for the freedom of India. Apart from politics, he also mentions about relationships, inequalities, biases, and the British era.

    ProtimaGauriBedi:Timepass

    No one can possibly find a more individualistic Indian feminine personality better than ProtimaBedi. Considered to be one of the most controversial autobiographies due to the explicit expression of female sexuality, Timepass, is a must read for everyone wanting to understand feminine individualism. From being a girl with self-esteem issues to becoming a highly vivacious and confident individual, the autobiography captures the journey of ProtimaBedi as constantly preoccupied with this body. How from an introvert she developed into an extremely courageous and independent women. Although making it the most controversial, the reception of this book is the most intriguing part that one should learn about.

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    A number of people come into our lives and have a strong impact on us as social beings. All of the above mentioned people might not have had a direct impact on us, but their stories truly inspire us and make us ponder over various questions in relation to the contemporary. Despite being  composed so beautifully, some of these books are not easily available. Even if available, a smaller portion of people wish to maintain a pile of hard copies. For those of us who wish to store a number of books as soft copies, online portals offer the best option. Apart from laptops, one can also access these books online on their smartphones.


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