Launch Of Audio Book "A Quiet Courage"

Posted by Sujatha Babu on Aug 8, 2012
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My mother and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the launch of the audio book "A Quiet Courage" based on the lives of Mahema and Manohar Devadoss. For those who haven't heard about these amazing people (sadly, Mahema is no more with us), check the ijourney article about them. This audio book is the first title in the series aptly named "Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives". The audio book has a musical background that includes some pieces that were Mahema's favorite, and aptly played and composed by Anil Srinivas and his team.

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 ....

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Comments (5)

  • Pavi Mehta wrote ...

    What a beautiful description of the event Sujatha! Can imagine the warmth and inspiration of the gathering and Mano Uncle's joy and humble appreciation for everyone there. Can't wait to hear "A Quiet Courage" -- am so glad the spirit of this ultra beautiful couple will continue to ripple out through it. Thanks for sharing the experience with such glowing detail and love. Sending big hugs.

  • Divenita Er` wrote ...

    Thank you so much for sharing about your experience. I read about this in karadi tales blog.
    Warm hug!

  • Trishna Shah wrote ...

    I remember the piece Pavi had written which moved me so deeply, so wonderful to hear there is now a book sharing their inspiring journey, what beautiful souls. I got goosebumps just reading your synopsis of the launch, thanks for sharing Sujatha :)

  • Lavanya Marla wrote ...

    Thanks for sharing, Sujatha! Your description of the event conveys the humility and warmth present at the launch. Like Trishna, when I read Pavi's extraordinary piece, I was moved to a deep silence. I am really happy to know the audiobook continues to share the inspiration :) Would you mind sharing a link to buy the audiobook?

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