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Episode 02: Trauma,healing,& books

In our second episode of "Changing lives one story at a time" we spoke with Archana Atri about healing through books for adults and children. A champion of Indian children’s literature, Archana Atri began one of the first indie children's book clubs – AA’s Book Nerds – for children in the NCR.

Reading for healing is known as bibliotherapy,in Greek that would simply mean 'book healing'. I have read that Robert Burton wrote his masterpiece the Anatomy of Melancholy as a kind of therapy for self. “Aren’t we all, at some point in our lives, touched by melancholy?” he quesruined. “And so I write this to heal myself. To heal you.” While healing may look easy at the outset it is perhaps the roughest journey to self-discovery. When a person is grieving there are so many unanswered questions and emotions smothering us ,with only the least energy clinging to one's body.One may not want to connect and reach out to fellow members of the society or even family,friends - the suffering does not allow one to do that.

Books and the experience of reading may offer change as well as upliftment for such people who grapple with trauma and grief.

Books alone may not cure us of all the heaviness and suffering that we are burdened with,but books along with care,medication as required, and stress relief techniques can greatly buoy the process of healing.Reading unquestionably falls under the category of care, and stress relief technique.

Books have a way of quieting our mind and stealing our thoughts,books give us a space to pick our emotions and tenderly care for them.The calming prose or the symphonic poetry gives us time to slow down and as we do it also reminds us to gently to pick ourself up.

In our conversation Archana matter-of-factly shares with us her life's greatest loss and the weight of the calamity.She speaks about her healing journey - reading to children in a pediatric oncology ward.

You can listen to our entire conversation here.

with all my love,

anusha veluswamy

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