Beyond my world via Human Library

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My weekends were getting boring few months back, so I used to search book clubs or events related to books on social media. When I came to know about Human Library, the word itself fascinated me to search more about it. I researched everything about Human Library Concept and thus decided to bring one in my City.

At a time when depression and mental health issues had created a fracture, when a political line was changing in India, when the internet was going crazy over patriotism and terrorism, when the debate was between communalism and secularism,  when fake news and trolling becoming a trend; Human Library was a timely and necessary reality check.

The Human Library is a concept created by RonniAbergel, DanyAbergel, ChristofferErichsen and AsmaMouna of Danish youth organisation Stop ‘The Violence’ in 2000 and is now operational in five continents. It is a library of human beings and individuals who represent a group in the community that is somehow exposed to stigma, prejudice and/or discrimination.

The Human Library offers its patrons to become readers, by taking a person out on loan for a conversation on the topic/issue that they represent. Conversations are offered to the duration of thirty minutes and this is not a storytelling session but an experience sharing with built-in Q&A.

When I was putting everything on the line for an event, the toughest part was to find Human Books. While searching for stories I got to know amazing people who had experienced prejudice due to issues such as race, sex, age, disability, sexual preference, gender identity, class, religion/belief, lifestyle choices and were still going strong and motivating and inspiring lives around them and through the whole process, I didn’t even motivated myself but decided to give a platform to those who wanted to remove this stereotypes and prejudices prevailing in the society.

On the interaction with prospective Human books and after knowing them, I confronted through opinions that shook my head and plunged me to stare out in disbelief that anyone could fail to see that every one of us is an individual with different backgrounds, personalities and lives. The fact is that each person should be respected for what they
have to offer as a person and not simply lumped into a category based
solely on opinion and fear. We are often cruel and quick to point a finger at things we don’t understand.

I wanted to offer conversation that can challenge prejudices and stereotypes prevailing in this society. To share different opinions and attitudes with different backgrounds, personalities and lives. Opportunities to volunteer and socially interact with people from backgrounds other than their own and give a voice to people often dispossessed of one.

What is most encouraging about the human library is that it allows the reader’s a space to directly confront their prejudices by choosing a subject they don’t understand. Through listening to the experiences of the books, the reader is able to connect to its subjects in a deeply personal way because these books say a lot more inside than their cover outside. In a very practical way, it shows us that if we make the effort to listen to and understand people, we quickly begin to see beyond our own world and the fact we are united in more ways than simply being human. Human Library is a methodology to create a community where one can open them up and can share life lessons with others.

I along with my team members’ tremendous support; started working on it and with the help of these amazing people, Human Library Surat became possible.

Kudos to team Human Library Surat.

Mrs funnybones – Twinkle Khanna


I was dying to read this book because of good reviews but was lazy enough to go to the store or to order it online. So while travelling when I was getting bored and waiting for my flight at Kochi airport I decided to get this one from a book store.

I started with a curiosity and oh boy … it was a fun read and finished it in less than 30 hours, because of 235 pages.

So the book is all about the random, funny incidents of the everyday life of a former actress turned interior decorator turned writer with husband, children’s, mother, mother – in – law, friends and of course neighbours of the author – Twinkle Khanna.

A very light read which kept me engaged because of a simple and funny style of writing. This book definitely made me laugh.

Note: Do not read in the hope of reading a novel or an autobiography.

Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

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“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”
― Elizabeth GilbertEat, Pray, Love 

A beautiful journey of a woman in search of the meaning of life.

She has everything she ever wanted in her life, a perfect husband, beautiful house, and a successful career. But time changes everything and she started exhibiting symptoms of depression because of her divorce. So she decided to go on a yearlong adventures journey of self-discovery.  Eat, Pray, Love – these three words match up to the book’s three sections of eating Italian delicacies, praying and healing in India and finding physical passion in Indonesia.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is one of a kind travelogue I have read for the very first time.

 

Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami


“Toru: What happens when people open their hearts?
Reiko: They get better.”

A depressingly beautiful novel I have read so far. I read it while travelling in train, bus, cab with so much interest that my fellow passengers had to tell me about my stations.

A story of love and loss from the perspective of Toru Watanabe. A successful, 37-year-old businessman, hears a version of the Beatles’ Norwegian Wood, and the music takes him back 18 years to his college days, the story dwells in sadness after the death of his best friend Kizuki. later he developed feelings for two different girls Naoko, Kizuki’s girlfriend, beautiful yet emotionally damaged and Lively Midori.

An amazing story of young love, I did not expect to like it that much.

And yes movie adaption is also really good.