Read A Life Less Ordinary: A Memoir by Baby Halder Urvashi Butalia Online


Abandoned by her mother, beaten by her father, and hurriedly married off at twelve to an abusive man twice her age, Baby Halder's early life was marked by overwhelming challenges and heartbreak. Exhausted and desperate, the young mother finally fled with her three children in 1999 to Delhi, where she found work as a maid in some of the city's wealthiest homes.Expected to sAbandoned by her mother, beaten by her father, and hurriedly married off at twelve to an abusive man twice her age, Baby Halder's early life was marked by overwhelming challenges and heartbreak. Exhausted and desperate, the young mother finally fled with her three children in 1999 to Delhi, where she found work as a maid in some of the city's wealthiest homes.Expected to serve her employers' every grueling demand, Halder faced a staggering workload that often left her no time to care for her own children.The young woman's luck finally turned when she started working for Prabodh Kumar, a retired anthropology professor who noticed Halder's interest in his library. Kumar helped her to read his books and newspapers—which she devoured enthusiastically—then suggested that she write down her own life story. In A Life Less Ordinary, the fascinating result of her writing sessions with Kumar, Halder speaks for a multitude of Indian women, revealing a world of poverty and subjugation few outsiders have heard about. Halder writes simply and candidly of her life as a young girl, and later as a struggling mother.Without a trace of melodrama or self-pity, she describes her experiences of growing up poor and neglected, struggling to manage children and a violent husband while she herself was only fourteen years old, and, finally, of escaping her past ultimately to triumph as a writer.Already a huge success in India, where it has been published in Hindi, Bengali, and several other languages, A Life Less Ordinary is an astonishing story of strength, courage, and determination that continues to inspire readers everywhere....

Title : A Life Less Ordinary: A Memoir
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061255816
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 175 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Life Less Ordinary: A Memoir Reviews

  • Pushpam Singh
    2019-05-25 16:53

    My friend Aditya recommended me this book and told me this book is one gem of a memoir. I ordered the book straightaway from online bookstore. I took me 3 days to finish this book but the feeling while I was reading the book can't be explained in life time. The book has been written in such simple tone and words that anyone can read it at ease. I found the incidents heart touching and at times felt disgusted at the treatment women gets in this society. Baby Halder author of the book, starts her book from the time she was in Jammu with her father, then they move to other place and then to Durgapur, where they are forced to live a abject life. It was a sad account of life story but that's the harsh reality maximum people face. She was married at the mere age of 14 when most of girls go to school and play with their classmates. She was forcefully married and was expected to act matured as per instructions of his husband who was atleast 12 years elder to her. He used to drink and lot and all he cared about was to have intercourse with her. She wasn't allowed even to talk to any male. She is beaten almost every other day for no fault of hers. Finally one day she decides to move to Delhi. As soon as she lands in delhi she is anxious about her future but after a lot of troubleshooting she finally gets a job in a nice home, where she is encouraged to read and write. This is how she converts her leisure writing into a beautiful book. Great are those soul who inspite of all stones kept in their way climb to the top to witness sunrise. Baby Halder is one of them

  • Imas
    2019-05-25 19:03

    Baby Halder, seorang perempuan muda asal India, pembantu rumah tangga, kawin muda, seorang diri menghidupi tiga orang anak, ditinggalkan ibunya saat kecil, disiksa suami, tak dapat melanjutkan sekolah. Sama sekali bukan hidup yang indah. A life less ordinary ditulis sendiri oleh Baby, dibantu Sahib nya alias majikan ditempat ia bekerja sebagai PRT. Dituliskan dengan sederhana, walaupun membaca buku ini tidak sampai mengeluarkan banjir airmata tapi sakit yang Baby rasakan dapat dirasakan. Salah satu yang mengiris hati saat Baby berjumpa kembali dengan ibunya setelah 20 tahun ditinggalkan. Kepedihan bertahun-tahun dan keputusasaan menunggu kepulangan ibunya tidak menyisakan perasaan sebagaimana layaknya sebuah pertemuan yang telah lama dinanti. Baby tidak merasakan apa-apa saat bertemu ibunya kembali,tidak merasakan kegembiraan apalagi kebahagiaan.Mungkin seperti itu ya..jika akumulasi keinginan atau kebutuhan telah mencapai puncak, maka dengan sendirinya keinginan itu akan menurun kembali, persis hukum ekonomi the law of deminishing return. Pemenuhan suatu kebutuhan atau keinginan dan permintaan akan mencapai puncak dan selanjutnya menurun. Hukum ekonomi itu ternyata banyak yang sesuai dengan kehidupan manusia bukan hanya berkaitan dengan faktor ekonomi. Mungkin karena yang diteliti juga perilaku manusia.Baby tidak bercerita secara mendayu-dayu, lebih seperti bercerita dengan seorang sahabat. Baby juga berhasil menggambarkan kehidupan nyata bahwa dunia bukanlah hitam dan putih secara mutlak. Seseorang tidak selalu jahat sepenuhnya dan sebaliknya. Malah, kemungkinan seseorang memang baik adanya. Beberapa hal yang menjadi point yang saya peroleh dari kisah Baby :1. Tetaplah memiliki harapan, tetaplah berusaha untuk mencapai harapan.2. Orang baik masih ada di bumi yang penuh kejahatan ini.3. Jangan berhenti menulis.

  • Jwana Nakle
    2019-05-23 14:01

    لم أجد سبباً يمنعني من اعطاء هذا الكتاب خمسة نجوم و ربما لو استطعت لأعطيته أكثر... لقد وجدت نفسي في مكتبة كبيرة أمام ألاف الكتب و للصراحة لم يكن هذا الكتاب خياري الأول ولا حتى الأخير... لكن بالصدفة فقط و جدته و لم اكن سأتناوله اطلاقا إلا أني عندما رأيت الكاتبة هندية و تحكي قصة حياتها أخذته بلا تردد... قصة بيبي ليست ككل القصص السعيدة و لا الحزينة... وبيبي بالرغم من أنها لم تتلقى تعليما فهي اروع من تلك المدعية غادة السمان و أروع من اي كاتبة أخرى قراءة لها للآن... فهي لاتتلهف للرجال بل للحياة و لتعليم أطفالها... بيبي كم وجدتني محتارة لبعض ماحدث معك تُضربين بمنزل أبيك و تُضربين بمنزل زوجك... هذا الكتاب ليس للمعقدين الراغبين بالكلمات الصعبة و حبكات القصص مستحيلة الفهم هذا الكتاب خاتمة ممتازة لعالم 2014 و كم انا سعيدة لذلك... "كان أنموذجا غريبا من البشر . لايعرف اللباقات الاجتماعية ، ولاكيف يتحدث مع من هم أكبر منه سناً ولايعرف كيف يبدي الاحترام ، و إذا حاولت أن أخبره بأن عليه أن يكون محترماً ، كان يحدق بي فقط " كانت تصف هنا زوجها... و الذي حقاً اعجبني انها لم تكن تقاتل احدا او تلقي اللوم على احد بل بالعكس كانت متسامحة جدا حتى أني لم اعلم بكرهها لأبيها إلا لاخر الكتاب تقريبا حيث كتبت على لسان احد مرسيليها : " فكري لم أنت منزعجة من والدك. ضعي نفسك مكانه ولو مرة واحدة واختبري احساسه. حتى لو انتابك احساس بأنك لن تغفري له ، يجب أن تفعلي ذلك. علينا أن نغفر للبشر حتى لو لم نكن نحبهم " كيف تحبه و زوجها في الثانية عشرة.. و كان عندها اطفال وهي مجرد طفلة ... كيف تحبه و كل الالم و الندم و الحزن و القرف يتملكها عند ابيها... بيبي أيقظتني لأبني مستقبلي بالطريقة التي اريدها....كم يشبه هذا الكتاب شخص يعمل ليعيل نفسه.

  • Sushmita Rao
    2019-05-27 14:48

    As I reached the end of the book, I was moved because I have never heard a story like this before. How often do you get a chance to read about a maid's life and that too, in her own words (the book was originally written in Bengali and was then translated to Hindi and English)? I had to take a break for two days because the domestic violence parts are quite disturbing. But the way Baby came out of hell is inspiring. I had few issues with the book though: I somehow didn't like the way Baby jumps suddenly from one incident to another. But then, it's good to remember that Baby used to write after completing her work as a domestic help and taking care of three children! Whenever I feel like giving up, I will make sure I read this book, because Baby's life is certainly not ordinary. There are people who say that feminism is for the elite, upper class women. This book proves that there are women out there fighting the patriarchy..without even knowing that there is a name to their beliefs.

  • Robynn
    2019-05-29 15:56

    Written by a poor woman trying to survive in India. She was married at a young age to an abusive, indifferent man. Finally she left with her children to find work. After a time she found employment in the home of an educated and kind man. He and his friends encouraged her to write and this is her first book. In a straight forward style she has told her life story. An important book which provides a glimpse into the life of one poor woman, and perhaps insight into the lives of struggling women around the globe.

  • Emily
    2019-06-06 14:07

    This is a very inspirational story - one I know I'll remember for a long time. The reason I didn't LOVE this book is that the writing was so spare; I believe that is also part of its charm (for those who really love it). Myself, I would've liked more details about situations that were mentioned but not explained fully. I would've loved more descriptions. In any case, this book is certainly recommended - just reading the dust jacket you can see that it's an amazing story. Reading through the author's life story (to this point) is really a great opportunity.

  • Aditi Krishna
    2019-05-19 18:03

    Simple and has the capacity to move you to tears.

  • a
    2019-06-19 19:55

    this book was striking she writes in a very matter-of-fact manner, when she’s talking about scarring events and that really gives to the whole reading experience

  • Gita Romadhona
    2019-06-13 18:55

    Gantungkan impianmu. Kata-kata itu terasa begitu familier bukan di telinga kita? Dari kecil, kita terbiasa disugesti untuk menggantungkan mimpi setinggi-tingginya. Lalu, kita diberi tangga untuk menggapainya kembali, pelan-pelan. Diberi rengkuhan, diberi genggaman, kita diberi banyak kemudahan. Sayangnya meski dengan semua kemudahan-kemudahan itu, kita sering kali lalai, kita lupa pada mimpi yang mula, kita menyerah untuk menggapainya lagi. Maka menyemaklah mimpi kita tak terlihat, tak tergapai, tak menjelma. Lain halnya dengan Baby Halder. Perempuan yang lahir di keluarga India miskin ini, berjuang dengan segenap hidup menjelmakan mimpi-mimpinya. Baby lahir di keluarga India yang miskin. Seperti layaknya kaum miskin di seluruh bumi, Baby tak pernah mendapatkan pendidikan yang layak. Dia dinikahkah dalam usia sangat muda dengan seorang laki-laki yang puluhan tahun lebih tua darinya. Perlakuan kasar dan pelecehan kerap didapatnya dari sang suami. Keluarga—Ayah dan kakak laki-lakinya—tak bisa diharapkan. Budaya India, lagi-lagi meletakkan kekuasaan penuh pada suami untuk memperlakukan istri. Meski dengan cara menyiksa. Meski dengan cara membuatnya tak berharga.Namun, Baby, meski dengan tertatih-tatih, terus berjuang demi mimpinya. Dia berjuang akan kekerasan yang dirasanya tak adil. Sambil membawa ketiga anaknya menjauh dari sang suami, Baby bekerja sebagai pembantu rumah tangga. Majikan Baby yang seorang profesor memberi nyala lagi pada api dalam hidup Baby. Baby pun belajar membaca dan menulis darinya. Tulisan-tulisannya dikumpulkan dan akhirnya diterbitkan. Buku Life Less Ordinary ini adalah tulisan Baby tentang cerita hidupnya. Buku ini terjual laris di India dan telah diterjemahkan dalam beberapa bahasa. Baby berhasil menjelmakan mimpi miliknya.Semangat dalam kesederhanaan—itulah yang dibicarakan buku ini.Sebagai sebuah karya terjemahan, diksi yang dipilih Rudy terlalu tinggi dan indah untuk takaran Baby yang tak pernah mengenyam pendidikan. Seolah terjadi distorsi bahasa. Namun, sebagai karya sastra, buku Life Less Ordinary sungguh memesona. Cara bercerita begitu cair, menarik, dan tuturnya khas serta bersahaja. Baby mengundang siapa saja untuk bersimpati padanya, tetapi tidak mengasihani. Baby membuat siapa saja, jatuh hati pada perjuangannya menjelmakan mimpi. Maka, bermimpilah. Hiduplah dalam mimpi-mimpi itu. Kemudian, terjagalah dan buat semuanya menjelma nyata. Semua orang berhak menyempurnakan mimpinya. Baby Halder, melalui buku Life Less Ordinary, telah membuktikannya.

  • Arathi
    2019-06-15 17:53

    It is a remarkable story. I feel horrible to give book an OK rating. It is a quick read, has a very simple story line but the way it is written is very abrupt, with confusing dialogs and choppy at times. The author switches from first person to third person and it is distracting but I guess at the same time, that is part of the appeal for many. It could also be because it was translated from Bengali. The book could have used a lot of editorial assistance but I guess they chose to leave it as is. However, I am not sure it will even get past the red pen of the middle school English teacher. As for the story of her life, unfortunately, it is all too familiar and common in India and in other developing countries. I truly wish every one of those unlucky women gets blessed by an employer who can empathize, support and mentor them

  • misha
    2019-05-20 15:03

    I feel like an evil, evil person - I hated this book. Baby's story is striking (and sadly not at the same time- there are far too many abused people in this world), and I applaud her for finding the courage to write it herself. However, having a tough life and a pen and paper does not a writer make. She's very brave, and there are moments of true beauty in her writing, but for the most part I found her style very uncomfortable. I found myself almost itchy from the writing - especially when she talks about herself in third person. I applaud her for her courage, but I wish her story had been told with more help from another writer.

  • Risa
    2019-06-15 18:03

    A Life Less Ordinary: A Memoir by Baby Halder is a personal memoir about a woman growing up poor in India. She gets married off to a man that does not love or appreciate her. Eventually she is able to leave her husband and finds work as a maid in Delhi but that does not end the hardships for Baby. Now she has to work a demanding job and take care of her own children on her own. Even though she faces a lot of challenges in life, Baby does not pity herself.http://strawberrycowbookcafe.blogspot...

  • Catherine
    2019-06-19 15:07

    Baby's story is a real-life Cinderella story, Indian style. She's abandoned by her mother. Her father marries her off to a brutal, abusive man when she's only twelve years old. Her tales of her early youth are heart-wrenching. But this brave young woman perseveres and overcomes against all odds. Baby's prose is a bit elementary and she would have benefitted from more editorial assistance, especially when she's referring to herself in the third person. However, her story held my interest and is worth reading.

  • Darnia
    2019-05-23 15:55

    Semua akan indah pada waktunya. Itulah ending buku ini. Namun, perjuangan Baby dalam bertahan hidup memang mengagumkan. Gw salut dengan usaha Baby menuliskannya. Meskipun terkesan flat, namun kebingungan, kesedihan serta kebahagiaan Baby terpancar kuat dalam tulisannya tanpa bahasa dramatis yg berlebihan.Hidup wanita di India (bahkan mungkin di banyak negara) tidaklah mudah. Namun, lewat buku ini gw makin yakin bahwa wanita memang diciptakan sangat kuat dan kokoh

  • Sheela Word
    2019-06-17 18:58

    Moving and convincing narrative. A young woman who is betrayed by nearly everyone close to her makes a brave, but risky, decision that nearly ends in disaster for herself and her children. She is literally saved through the kindness of strangers, or rather, a particular stranger, who recognizes her worth.What gives this story heft is the reader's knowledge that Baby (her real name) represents legions of mistreated girls and women in India.I'll probably read the sequels.

  • Benedetta Ammannati
    2019-05-31 18:48

    Libro interessantissimo di una ragazza poverissima, abbandonata dalla madre, maltrattata da padre e matrigne (varie) e semianalfabeta, sposata con un uomo dispotico e violento che abbandonerà. Troverà infine il riscatto sociale facendo la donna delle pulizie da un brav'uomo che le insegnerà a leggere e scrivere. Da un suo quaderno proviene il racconto della sua vita.Davvero interessante.Leggetelo!Voto: 10

  • Arfi Noor
    2019-05-29 18:41

    Andai saya menjadi baby, ingin rasanya menendang sang suami yang sangat tidak peduli pada isterinya yang sedang hamil bahkan sampai melahirkan. Kekuatan yang berasal dari anak-anaknya sangat mengagumkan. Terlebih sebagai seorang wanita tanpa kasih sayang ibu, baby patut di contoh oleh mereka yang merasa kurang beruntung. Hormat pada majikan dan jujur, sudah sangat langka hadir pada diri khadimah-khadimah zaman sekarang. Indiaholic =)

  • Ian Sergeant
    2019-06-14 13:58

    A very simply worded narrative, purely chronologically arranged. No reading challenges, compexity or subtly.The only potential interest comes from the plot, and personally I didn't find the story inspirational. Unfortunately I didn't find it surprising or shocking either, just familiarly depressing.

  • Jeanette
    2019-06-06 16:56

    Translated from Hindu. Written very matter of fact by a poor woman in India. It is the story of her life from when her abusive father married her at age 12 to an abuser. She finally left alone with her 3 children to make a better life for her and her children. International acclain. Borrowed from Olivia.

  • Marcia
    2019-06-05 22:07

    Given the background of the writer this is an amazing book but compared to many other popular memoirs, this is pretty unfinished.

  • Neeraj
    2019-06-09 19:03

    An inspirational story that gives a candid idea about condition of suppressed woman.

  • Sudip Saha
    2019-06-01 18:08

    Head good reviews

  • Pratima
    2019-06-18 15:46

    An amazing story of this woman's tragedies in life and her strength to endure and survive it all, and finally become a writer with considerable merit.

  • Carey
    2019-05-26 21:01

    currently reading this...just started.

  • Conrad Barwa
    2019-05-30 16:06

    A somewhat disappointing read, surprised that it is so well-known.

  • Lauren
    2019-06-09 15:43

    Was a lovely story, although by no means revolutionary.

  • Kimberly
    2019-05-25 18:44

    it was alright. kind of sad.

  • Bimal Mohta
    2019-06-07 20:09

    Good book in simple language portraying struggle of an ordinary women.

  • Yufan
    2019-06-10 16:51

    sad story , but good ending.