Thursday, March 10, 2016

439: First Impressions: Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto

Jerry Pinto's mother, Imelda or Em as the kids call her, is depressive, suicidal and schizophrenic. The big Hoom is Jerry Pinto's father and Susan is Pinto's sister. This is the story of a family that lives in a one-bedroom apartment in Mahim (a suburb in Bombay) and tackles incidents like attempted suicide, a son who is so frustrated that he calls his mother a filthy bitch one day. The mother who's 'mental' remembers that but pretends that she was out of her senses when she heard it. It's the story that ends with a family having a cup of tea in the memory of their feisty, wonderful mother who they'd just buried. It's the story of Em's illness, how the family copes, and it's core, the togetherness between a woman who fell ill and her husband who took care of her (and everything) until the very end.

It's a very moving story and a necessary one to read. There's so much strong and hopeful magic in seeing what all people can endure.

And despite all that, love.

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