I believe in power of human empathy, says Pinto
Talking openly about mental illness is still unwelcome in our society as, for many, it remains a taboo. Author Jerry Pinto has now taken his second step to bridge the gap between society and mental illness.
“I believe in people. I believe that they would like to ‘only connect’. I believe they can find a way to sympathise. I believe in the power of human empathy,” Pinto said following the release of his new work, “A Book of Light”.
“I am willing to stake this book on that,” Pinto added.
In 2012, Pinto published his debut novel “Em and the Big Hoom” which talked about his bipolar mother. The book impacted thousands of readers and many could relate with the story, which touched an emotional chord as he drew from his personal experiences.
So, what made him come up with the second book while his first too has a similar story line?
“I think we all write about the things that concern us deeply. In my case, my mother had bipolar affective disorder as it is now known. In the 1970s and 1980s, it was simply said of her that she had had a nervous breakdown or, more brutally, that she was mad. That was what got me interested in the subject,” replied Pinto.
“A Book of Light” comprises 13 stories that sketch the lives of people from different professions who have had to deal with emotional turmoil while living with someone with a mental illness or infirmity — a situation somewhat similar to Pinto’s.
After the release of his first book, people started talking to him about how their family members had suffered from a mental illness. Thus was born the idea of the second book.
“I did not know how to handle this. I told a friend of mine who said that I should see if they would write about these experiences. She even suggested the title, ‘A Book of Light’, because it would cast light on these neglected areas of the Indian family and its experiences. Each reading turned into something like an encounter group,” the author said.
After the release of his first book, people started talking to him about how their family members had suffered from a mental illness. Thus was born the idea of the second book