reviewed by Sreedevi Raghavan
Publisher -Hay House India
Soft Cover – 236 Pages
Price 347 Rupees
“The Kintsugi Moms” is a collection of stories of women who have survived heinous acts that they were subjected to in marriage, their struggles with single parenting due to widowhood and their saga on how they survived by recreating themselves.
I first heard this term – “Kintsugi” when I met Dr. Haseena Chokkayil at Chennai a couple of years back during a course that we were doing together. We are both licensed international workshop leaders of “Heal Your Life” , a way of life propounded by Louise Hay.
Dr. Haseena is a practising homeopath from Kerala and it was amazing to understand from her how she had effortlessly blended healing strategies as an integral part of the work that she did as a professional doctor. As part of the closing session in the course, when all of us had to talk about our dreams and also affirm them, I wasn’t surprised when the sparkling, self-assured homeopath doctor from Kozhikode, Dr. Haseena said with passion and confidence – “I will write a book about these women who have re-built themselves – they are my Kintsugi moms.”
Dr. Hasi, as we close friends call her is a Kintsugi mom herself and you will read her story in this book. Her medical condition in her early years of trauma is akin to the medical condition which Ms. Sushmita Sen also had to go through.
Dr. Haseena draws inspiration from the life of Sushmita and fought back. Forgiveness – she says was her most powerful tool for transformation. In every story that she has narrated in her book, she is prescriptive about the healing strategies that she has advised for her patients.
She arrives at a plan of treatment for her patients after she has listened completely to their personal stories. She is a keen observer of patterns of victimhood in her clients. By helping them see it for themselves is how she delivers a win every time.
Personally, I loved the book for its lack of drama. Anyone else would have made it gory and tragic and weaved it into a tale of surreal accomplishments. However, she chooses to make the process the king – Kinstugi- (the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold) – as her central theme and she credits the win to the spirit in these women, who fought back using therapy, homeopathy and empathy to get their lives right back on track. The book is a tell-all. She talks about masturbation, marital rape and repression of sexual wants with dispassionate subjectivity like only a doctor could.
There’s one little story that she narrates about a very ordinary day and how it ends with her staring at death. As she lies there powerless, waiting for medical help, sinking and stinking in her urine, she asks herself what she should do if she gets a second chance at life.
This is that second chance that she gifted herself – this book. Read it for the indomitable human spirit that lies in each one of us.