I felt embarrassed, ashamed and humiliated when I made my mother read one of my recent posts on this blog a couple of days back; embarrassed not because I had written something that she wasn’t meant to read, but because I found some glaring flaws in the post as she was reading it aloud. Some misplaced/missing words, some grammatical errors that made think of the people who must have read that post and chuckled (I mail my new posts to at least two dozen people), but were kind enough to reply with comments similar to “well-written” and some even posted comments on the blog. It took me a couple of hours to correct the post, but took me the whole night to get over the shame; making me think of excuses for such a lapse; my mind working faster than the two fingers of my right hand or maybe I should’ve read it aloud before posting it and many such things. The worse I feared was that I won’t be able to get back to blogging for a few months until this event remained fresh in my mind.
But as you can see that it was not to happen and I am back here writing. Things changed when I got a courier with a book titled The Diving-Bell And The Butterfly by Jean Dominique Bauby yesterday.
I was explaining the speciality of the book to my father; “it is the autobiography of the French editor of Elle, who dictated it just by batting his left eyelid after suffering a paralytic stroke”, and here I’m sulking about my two stiff fingers of my right hand that won’t move at the speed of my thoughts.
The book is a remarkable memoir of the author’s life in hospital after he suffered the stroke or locked-in syndrome. It is anecdotal and describes how he feels being in the cocoon of his body. It isn’t all that gloomy as I make it sound; there are a few really hilarious passages where he talks about hospital staff, some rude, some indifferent and some being a nuisance.
Somewhere before the end of the book Bauby tells us that he wishes to write a play where the hero suffers from locked-in syndrome and goes through all that he has experienced, in the climax he gets up from his bed and exclaims something like; “Shit! It was just a dream”.
A slim book (133 pages) with large fonts, this is the first book that I could finish in matter of hours.
If you are interested in knowing where I got to know about this book, just read the first comment on this post by Jai Arjun Singh
A detailed review of the book from The New York Times. (Free registration required).
And, thank you HCP for getting the book for me.