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Book Review: The Lady with the Magic Lamp by Dr. Aswathy Rajan & Manju K Manohar

The Lady with the Magic Lamp is a very fascinating and inspiring semi-autobiographical book on Dr Rajammal written by two authors Dr. Aswathy Rajan & Manju K Manohar. The book recounts the life experiences and achievements of its cynosure Dr Rajammal. Her life story is inspiration to millions of people across the world. The way she rose to a position of eminence through hard work and education is nothing less than a tale in itself.

The book is divided into two parts. The first part talks about her life, and the second part houses praises and letters from her students and people who got influenced by her. Towards the end of the book, you will also see media blitz and pictures of her with relatives and of events.

In each chapter, you will find points to ponder, that are nothing but straight takeaways from the book.  

Dr Rajammal (also known as Raji) was born in Kethorai village in Nilgiris. She hailed from Badaga community, which was conservative towards girls’ education and child marriage was a normal practice for them. Raji was the eldest child in the family. She was sent to school but before she could complete her SSC, her parents worried her with marriage prospects. She fought and later on moved to Madras for college degree. There she was the poorest among all. But that didn’t matter as she was brilliant in her studies. She came from a very poor and conservative family or say community. Fighting against that society was her biggest tussle. At every juncture her life was grappled by many difficulties but she never give up.

In fact, the core theme of the book is about her never-give-up attitude. Later with time, she joined KVS as a teacher and from there she kept rising the ladders like a phoenix from ashes. She won many awards in her life and was also posted in Moscow for three years. As a reader you will be swayed by her pain and sorrow as well as respect she got from her students and colleagues and other people.

Her services in the field of education cannot be ignored or taken for granted. She is a kind of bigger-than-life person, being an elite educationist and social worker she received many awards at various levels like KVS Incentive Award, National Award (from President of India) for best teacher (CBSE) 2009.

Life threw many tantrums at her but she emerged as a victor every time. Both authors did a great job by bringing her story forward for millions of people. The book is not only a source of inspiration but also serves as a token of gratitude for Dr Rajammal. Writing, editing, and all the content was nicely presented. The book was highly readable in both formats.

Order your copy from Amazon or Kindle.


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