Launch Of Audio Book "A Quiet Courage"
Posted by Sujatha Babu on Aug 8, 2012
A little about the book. It has been published by Karadi Tales. To quote from their site: "A Quiet Courage is an audiobook based on the true story of Mahema and Manohar Devadoss. Manohar and Mahema Devadoss thought their cup of joy was overflowing when tragedy struck. Mahema was rendered quadriplegic by a cruel accident, and Manohar was robbed of his eyesight. The obstacles seemed insurmountable. But with courage and dignity, they decided to take charge of their lives once again. Charkha presents this poignant story as a musical audiobook, accompanied by 10 postcard prints of Manohar Devadoss’s evocative paintings.".
The invite for the launch and the CD cover had been designed by Mano-uncle (as he is known to many of us).
The room was overflowing with his well-wishers and friends. I was fortunate to catch up with Mano-uncle briefly. He looked dapper in his golden colored dothi and a matching kurta. When I remarked that he looked rather dashing, he gave a laugh and in his own humorous way said "When I was 25, no one called me dashing. Now in my 70s, people are finding me dashing". That elicited a burst of laughter from those around. His thoughtfulness had extended to the decor on the stage, which consisted of a beautiful portrait of Mahema (that Manohar had drawn himself) and her traditional lamp that was lit by their daughter along with others.
The book launch had some big names as chief guests, including the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. Mano-uncle personally introduced each of the speaker, recollecting the first time he met them. In a departure from norm, all the speeches were short and reflected the speaker's individual interactions with the Devadoss-es, and what they observed and learnt from them. In fact, rather than behaving like chief guests,they behaved more like family members and close friends, and ensured that event was positive and heart-felt rather than formal. Anil Srinivas also played a few pieces from the audio. Before commencing his music, he said that during the recording, many a times he would have to break away from the recording and take some time to collect himself as the story unfolding before him was "haunting". An 8-minute excerpt of the audio book was played, and it was very apparent that the audience was moved by the narration.
For me, it was an honor to be there in that space. And at one point I felt the collective spirit of the ServiceSpace team there. Mahema and Manohar continue to be an inspiration to all of us.
In gratitude ....