Neville Longbottom was awarded 10 points for making Gryffindor win the house-cup in Harry Potter and the Sorcerers, because he took a more significant deal to stand up not against his enemies but friends, who were about do something wrong. Neelima Dalmia Adhar is one fearless soul who chose to chronicle the life of his father, with utmost honesty, rather than using her literary skill to pen a glory story. ‘Father Dearest: The Life and Times of R.K. Dalmia’, by Adhar is among the most honest family narrative one would come across. The book received the best-selling status and positive feedback from critics. Her second book, that came out in 2007, ‘Merchants of Death’ further charmed the critics.
Adhar, on December 12, 2017 visited The House of MG, Ahmedabad to participate in the ‘Kalam’ talk session jointly organised by the Prabha Khaitan Foundation, Ahmedabad Book Club and The House of MG. Lit lovers were already excited to meet and listen to the extraordinary author, and she didn’t displease at all. She spoke about her life anecdotes, inspiration, writing journey and her latest book ‘The Secret Diary of Kasturba’ in her characteristic candour. The book was released in an event in New York in October 2017.
Adhar has now mastered the skill of shattering people’s preconceived rigid notions as she did in her first book talking about the ‘concealed secrets’ of her father, Industrialist Ramkrishna Dalmia. Among the most powerful Industrialist of independent India, Dalmia, founded the Dalmia group of Industries and was the first owner of the The Times Group. He had six wives and eighteen children. Adhar was criticised for going to the extent of being ‘disrespectful’ to her own father in the book, but than that is the kind of writer she is ! In her second book Merchants of Death Adhar whacked the Marwadi overly orthodox societal aspects, which are mostly known by people but are not talked loudly about them. It was like blowing secrets about her clan, as she belongs to a true Marwadi family. For her third book, The Secret Diary of Kastruba, the author expressed her views saying “The book has been drafted to break the myth about a bold, ambitious and willful woman, whose life story wasn’t narrated, as life-sized as her husband MK Gandhi.”
Being a Psychology student as well as a former professor at Delhi University in the same field, Neelima Dalmia Adhar has a keen interest on analysing human behaviour and bringing it out as a chilling narrative in her writing. Priyanshi Patel from Ahmedabad Book Club, moderated the talk. The audience felt pleased and satiated at the end of this overwhelming interaction.
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