Book Review by Ramya Mishra: Runaway Children authored by S Hariharan

Runaway Children_Front Cover

“The story is delicately told by the author S. Hariharan and he has tactfully raised many questions, which we Indians conveniently brush under the carpet. He has questioned the wisdom of raising the kid’s with iron hand, without much thought given to their thinking pattern, emotions and what all trauma they face at different stages of their life”, says Ramya Mishra, writer, entrepreneur and working mom, while speaking about the book. She speaks about the other subtle nuances of the book and more to Jayashankar Menon. Excerpts:

Ramya Mishra

JM: Can you speak the impression you gathered about Hariharan’s Runway Children?

RM: Runaway Children is an autobiographical journey of Hariharan. He at one point of time in his life ran away from his home and returned as a much wiser person. He in his own delicate manner has tried to take us into the world of runaway children. The story is delicately told, and Hariharan has tactfully raised many questions, which we Indians conveniently brush under the carpet. He has questioned the wisdom of raising the kid’s with iron hand, without much thought given to their thinking pattern, emotions and what all trauma they face at different stages of their life.

JM: What is so striking point you have found in the book?

RM: I remember at a certain juncture in the story, the author was contemplating, that if someone had told him the ills of smoking in loving and gentle way, then probably he would have quit smoking.  This statement throws light on the fact that in child rearing every problem cannot be solved by shouting and raising the rod.

JM: Can you shed light on how the story progresses?

RM: The story is divided into eight parts, and traces his journey from beginning till final trip. The author, in his memoir has also highlighted the plight of runaway children. Many of them sleep on empty or half-filled stomach. Apart from that they do not have much hope in life and are regularly exploited and bullied.

JM: How do you sum up the memoir?

RM: The book is definitely one time read, with an easy flowing narrative. The story beautifully unfolds without those heavy sermons or unnecessary preaching’s. While reading the book, at certain point of time one feels like reaching out to the orphans and desolate kids. The narration ends on a positive note, where the author makes peace with his family. He not only finishes his higher studies, but also ends up running a successful BPO firm with a turnover of few crore. This highlights the fact that the human spirit can survive despite of all adversities.

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