No Looking Back by Shivani Gupta

May 19, 2014
Author: Shivani Gupta
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Year: 2014
ISBN: 9788129129130
Rating: ★★★★☆
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She typed this book with just one finger…. as it was the only one usable after the second accident.

If you crib about small things in life and keep pouting about the fact that life gives you a raw deal, then kindly read along. I am here to burst that bubble, by writing about a book called No Looking Back.

22-year-old Shivani Gupta was all that a young girl could want to be – energetic, passionate, and adorable with a basket of dreams. She is all happy and mushy as she wishes to spend the rest of her life with her love, Sunil.

But hold on, this ordinary-sounding life is about to take a sad and dramatic change. One night, Shivani goes out with her boyfriend and a bunch of friends in a car.  The joy ride soon crashes and an accident happens. But for Shivani, life happens.

“The only thought that presented itself to me was- In life, only love is a reality, and the only certainty is death.”

The accident is so severe that she suffers spinal injury resulting in disability, and is now wheelchair bound FOREVER!

Every dream is crashed and every hope is crushed. But the reality is yet to sink in. Before it does, she suffers. She suffers because the doctors are inefficient, because the biggest hospital in Delhi is ill-equipped, and because in the year 1991, medical facilities in India weren’t good enough.

She suffered physically and mentally until an army doctor provided the necessary treatment. A few months later, she was on the wheelchair and had to start over again. A life with disability had begun and this wouldn’t leave her, ever!

With immense effort, determination, courage and pain, she took control of her life. She did so with the support of her fantastic family, who did not give up on her. But she lost one thing in the process, the status of being ‘normal’. This is emphasized at the moments she steps out of the house, where people in society see her as weak, disabled and poor. She doesn’t receive the same respect as everyone else, she experiences a new side of society.

“Love is the most selfless feeling one can have; in fact, it is love only if it is selfless.”

She starts living her life in a new way, with new people, new colleagues and new friends. In this process, she studies, works and travels around. She also gets a pet. She also meets Vikas, her true love, whom she eventually marries.

Her happiness has no bounds when she marries him and starts yet another new way of life. But life has different plans for her,; while on a vacation, they meet with a terrible accident. The accident killed her father-in-law and husband and severely injured her and her mother-in-law.

Here she was, again, on the hospital bed, staring at the stark reality of her life.

Life goes on…

What level of determination is required to reinstate life back? It’s unthinkable how she manages to wake up every morning and face the world and accept the truth. Her story is moving, painful and heart-touching. She is courageous, committed and stubborn (in a good way though). Hats off!

Check out our exclusive with Shivani Gupta here, and follow her on Twitter if her story has won you over!

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