Bhopal: Club Literati, Bhopal, organised an online interactive session with author Shefali Tripathi Mehta on her novel, People On Our Roof, on Saturday evening.
The novel is a portrait of one woman’s undying commitment to her kin, her struggle with relationships and a heart-wrenching story of indestructible love between two persons. A coming of age story, it also explores the world of people whose minds are wired differently.
“This past year, due to the pandemic, there has been a lot more focus on mental health. Novel brings into focus the stigma that is attached to mental health issues and how society completely ostracises people with mental health issues and their families,” Shaifali said.
The story tells of Naina who lives with her mother and sister and the stigma that madness “runs in the family”. Her mother is mentally unwell, she has schizophrenia and her sister has autism. The novel revolves around them.
People on Our Roof is a caregiver's story. It is not about mental health issues only but also how these issues impact the caregiver; how within the same family, each one has their own response to these. The interaction ended with question-answer session. Club president Seema Raizada also expressed her views.
Shefali Tripathi Mehta's most recent book is Ek Koshish: The Story of Arushi (2019). People on Our Roof is her fifth book and the second work of fiction after Stuck Like Lint (2017). She has published short stories, poems, anthologies. She also writes on disability awareness, social issues, travel and parenting. She lives in Bangaluru and works at Azim Premji University.