Free Press Journal

Over a Cup of Coffee: Review


Book: Over a Cup of Coffee

Author: Madhavi Hadker

Publisher: Frog Books

Pages: 120; Price: Rs 95

In this collection of short stories, Madhavi Hadker gives insight into human nature; each story deals with a different aspect: From a father’s emotions, to death to human values to problems of generation gap. In simple language, Madhavi through her stories, brings forth some hard-hitting and heart-breaking tales.

Like, for instance, the story of mentally ill Mrs Kulkarni will leave the reader saddened. Each of Madhavi’s story draws inspiration from real life. The story about a young boy facing challenges because of an illness is based on Madhavi’s batch-mate whom she has seen struggle and fight the illness. Death also find a place in some of her stories like ‘Juhie’s grandfather’, ‘The story of Ram-Dayal’, and ‘Blackie’. Speaking about her own grandparents, Madhavi in the Preface to the book writes: “Since I have always lived in a joint family, I have seen my grandparents suffering in silence, waiting impatiently for their death…I have also witnessed how death comes slowly through the doow and plays havoc – destroying people, reducing them to a skeleton. It is very sad to see people whom you love die in front of you…”

Madhavi’s story are an embodiment of her own struggle with the life-threatening Encephalitis (called Cerebral Infract) at the age of six. She refused to allow herself to be defeated. Instead her passion for life and strong-willed nature helped her move on and become stronger in life. Inspite of several setbacks she is an inspiration for everybody. She not only has a degree in Psychology, a Postgraduate Degree in Educational Management and a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling, she is also an inspiring teacher, an engaging raconteur, and an accomplished artist.

And equally inspirational are her twenty short stories from Over a Cup of Coffee…

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