Book Review on Phidalia Toi’s ‘The Plight of a Mother’

Phidalia Toi’s “The Plight of a Mother” is an exceptionally awe inspiring book sketched in vivid tones portraying the emotional upheavals faced by a mother, as catastrophe strikes the family. It has always been her fathomless faith in the divine which sustains her through the crisis. She ultimately comes out unscarred, as she walks through the tempest in her life. The tenacity of her resolutions coupled with undeterred faith and her complete surrender to the infinite power casts away the dark gloomy clouds and ushers in the days filled with radiant sunshine.

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Profound grief and despair drown a family which is caught up in the octopus grip of a malady. Here, the author poignantly narrates how her whole family stands steadfast and unwavering when Laleleki ,her sixth child, 18 years of age, all of a sudden falls a prey to the affliction by osteosarcoma, a cancerous tumor in a bone. At this critical juncture, her sons, daughters, husband and a host of the relatives render enormous moral and emotional support to her in order to tide over the perils looming large.

Having encountered the petrifying disclosure of the illness of her youngest daughter, the mother author turns numb and shock waves seep into her whole being. Her heart-rending shrieks and the incessant flow of tears touch the deepest cords of the human heart. The readers can feel the deep anguish of a mother, as the child, whom she so lovingly carried in her womb for nine months lies there in torment and distress. The mother, caught in midst of the whirlpool of emotional turmoil and turbulence leaves no stones unturned in nursing her baby back to health. She single-handedly provides the best of medical treatments, all the while holding the sufferer daughter to her bosom with mammoth faith in Lord. As in Bible.(Matthew 21:21), Jesus replies, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.” The divine energy and omnipotent powers reign supreme and help the mother in keeping the faith intact. An appeal to the heaven as a protector of the injured opens the floodgates of the river of hope. As the thunder of tribulations burst forth upon us, it is the silent prayers offered to the divine, which pave the pathway to a prosperous life. During these adverse circumstances, when life appears quite unpredictable, we hold on by the thread of hope as our ultimate mode of survival.

Thus the author surrenders her soul at the altar of lord, seeking divine guidance, as she traverses each day with her child undergoing painful tests to confirm her worst fears. Having Admitted Laleleki in Christian Medical College, Vellore, the author stay puts in a nearby separate apartment, undertaking the massive task of rehabilitation process of her child. Dwelling In a land far away from home, sometimes she remains enveloped in the cloak of loneliness. However, intimidating the situation is, she does not buckle down .She proves her mettle and remarkably juggles through various roles .

No matter how oppressive the times are, we are all endowed with boundless divine powers to grapple with the difficulties. It is pertinently said that hurdles do not come to crush us but to harness our inner strength. A warrior, always plunges courageously into the war field with the will to conquer. The divine blessings shelter us, only if, we know how to surrender before God. God speaks to us in silent whispers, only we need the calmness of mind to hear the echoes of his voice in the depths of our soul. As we remain captivated by her soul stirring and emotive true tale, the author unfolds before us her ordeals. Certainly, conflict is the essence of literature and this work abound both in inner as well as outer conflict. At times, there has been none with whom the hapless mother can share her pains outpouring from her soul. It appears as if the whole world has landed on her shoulders and she has been flattened on the ground. But with unflagging devotion and faith, she clings on to her conviction as a spunky soldier holds the fort in the battle field. Aptly reminded of Nelson Mandela who states. “The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear “.Time and again the mother reformats and restrengthens her belief system. Ultimately, her faith prevails and carries her over the arduous patch of her life.

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When with a cry of desolation, we fall at the feet of the almighty, he picks us up and holds us to his bosom. In the face of enormous financial crisis, when medical expenses begin to bog her down, a good Samaritan comes forward and lends the mother a huge amounts of money. It is said that the lord comes to us, in the form of different individuals to shield us. The lord does appear in the manifestation of Dr G D Sundararaj, Dr Vemon Lee. Dr Raju Titus Chako, Dr Sana, Dr Corner Stone Wan of CMC Vellore, her children Barphi, Ritreki, Fragnancy, Eborlangki, Rihun, Soorangki, together with three of the adopted sons, her husband Bomber Jones Nongbri, her brother Dr Pillar stone, David Tariang of KJP hospital Shillong, sisters, well-wishers, the blood donors and so on. All of them form an invisible ring of strength around the mother of the victim.

A woman is always a paragon of patience and endurance and it epitomises an essential part of her character. When needed she grows the thousand hands of god. Our author has handled the many roles like encouraging and taking care her Laleleki, carrying on her household chores, managing monetary transactions and also settling disputes of her school, way back home. A woman is the best creation of god. It is not that tears do not well up her eyes. She does feel weak too but she has enormous will to stand up to the conditions plaguing her life As Laleleki moves through the stages of chemotherapy,whereby extreme side effects debilitate her, the mother stands firm,always gathering her into her lap of warm motherly love. A mother’s love is infinite. Ultimately, the miraculous divine powers and a mother’s love cure the victim of her deadly disease.

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It has been a phenomenal story of grit and valour of a mother and her daughter. The mother exhibits an amazing character of a woman of substance. The readers remain fully absorbed as the author recounts her tale of extraordinarily agonizing experiences. The faith in lord heals the mind and body. This intricately woven plot contains the various threads of human emotion like faith, courage, love, warmth and affection. They always stand as a beacon of hope for the masses navigating through the darkest passage of their lives. The writer has a knack for delineating life like characters and language of book does not pose any complexities. Therefore, it will appeal every class of the readers.

About the author

Phidalia Toi was born and raised in a small town called Jowai, in Meghalaya, North-east of India. She has acquired a Masters degree in Khasi Language Literature from North Eastern Hills University Shillong. She has also learnt Cinematography from Mumbai. Writing Lyrics, Novels and scripts for Dramas are her passions.

About the reviewer

Dr Prof. Shiv Sethi is an international acclaimed columnist, literary critic and book reviewer. He has reviewed the works of the most famous authors all across the globe.

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