Book Review: Shadows in the Sun by Gayathri Ramprasad


Shadows in the Sun

Introduction

I am taking a break once more from writing reviews about lives we end up losing. I just realized for over two months, all of my book reviews have a sad ending. Not that the tales in themselves were not pale and full of pain anyway. Look at Nick Traina, Paul Sharples, Debbie, Gabriel, David, weren’t their tales all but that?

But today, I get back to what I call breakthrough tales. Tales of those who somehow made it through their ‘madness’, to get to share their journeys with us. I admire Sebastien Aiden Daniels who keep it up over at Personal Growth for Life. I want to write today about another phenomenal woman I very much look forward to meeting someday.

Gayathri Ramprasad‘s impressive website is as captivating as it is simple to navigate.

The Book

As a young girl in Bangalore, Gayathri was surrounded by the fragrance of jasmine and flickering oil lamps, her family protected by Hindu gods and goddesses. But as she grew older, demons came forth from the dark corners of her fairytale-like kingdom—with the scariest creatures lurking within her.

The daughter of a respected Brahmin family, Gayathri began to feel different. “I can hardly eat, sleep, or think straight. The only thing I can do is cry unending tears.” Her parents insisted it was all in her head. Because traditional Hindu culture has no concept of depression as an illness, no doctor could diagnose and no medicine could heal her mysterious illness.

This beautifully written memoir traces Gayathri’s courageous thirty-year battle with the depression that consumed her from adolescence through marriage and a move to the United States. It was only after the birth of her first child, when her husband discovered her in the backyard “clawing the earth furiously with my bare hands, intent on digging a grave so that I could bury myself alive,” that she finally got the help she needed. After a stay in a psych ward she eventually found “the light within,” an emotional and spiritual awakening from the darkness of her tortured mind.

Gayathri’s inspiring story provides a first-of-its-kind cross-cultural lens to mental illness —how it is regarded in India and in America, and the way she drew on both her rich Hindu heritage and Western medicine to find healing.

My Musings on this

Once I read the book, I first let out a big wow.!!! I was like, how close could that be to you? Men, do people from India also have such tales? Ofcourse she was courageous to put it all out there and now dedicate herself so passionately to mental health Advocacy. It is needless for me to rate this book. A five is not enough because there is much more in there than I could ever muse about.  I just wish many more get a copy or attend one of her free webinars, use a resource or reach out.

Dear gentle readers and followers, as I wrote in my poem on the dark lining, it is possible to stay on top. It ain’t easy, no it ain’t – but it can!!!

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