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Book ReviewTinka Tinka Dasna

Tinka Tinka Dasna : Reporting From Inside the Jail

Author – Dr. Vartika Nanda
Translated By – Nupur Talwar
Publisher – Tinka Tinka Foundation
Cover & Book Design – Monika Saxena
No. Of Pages – 194

“A book dedicated to all who have been imprisoned not only behind the bars but in their minds too.”
– Dr. Vartika Nanda
The starting note of the book speaks for the entire text.

Unlike the usual Index or Contents Dr.Nanda names it ‘As the Tinkas unfolded.’

The thought that inmates are not even considered a straw in the daily life, leads to the title Tinka Tinka. The book also justifies the Hindi phrase ‘ पराधीन सपनेहु सुख नाहि।’
The aim is towards giving the inmates of Dasna a platform to express themselves through art, music and literature. The idea behind the book is twofold -‘Implore to the media and Judiciary, that it is circumstances which have played havoc in their lives & to unveil the painful and desolate lives of prisoners replete with meaning through art and literature.’

“Crime is the outcome of a diseased mind and jail must have an environment of the hospital for treatment and care.” Turning the words of Mahatma Gandhi to reality Tinka Tinka has had an impactful journey.
Prisoners, criminals but not inhumans….

The book divided into seven parts provides every intricate detail of life behind bars.
The first three parts, through the lives of five prisoners bring to light the other very unknown perspective that you must see. The inqusitive readers get to know how inmates following imprisonment search for a new meaning and reason to live.
Unending worries, gloomy days, sleepless nights and separation from family & society – this is the start to every life which enters the prison. But with support from all others, slowly and gradually a new way out of this darkness is found. Some find peaceful moments in music while some others are great techies. Nupur and Rajesh Talwar are the ones for whom the other prisoners worry more than anyone themselves, since their care for all is beyond words.

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Fourth part reckons jail officials who are most often considered as heartless, inhumane creatures.
The first person point of view used by the author gives a sense of one to one talk. The detailed narration of the pity state of children in prison leaves no heart ungrieved.

The last three parts bring to centre stage the teamwork that helped to achieve milestones and lead to creation of a theme song composed by the inmates, ten of whom are under life imprisonment.
The Tinka Tinka Foundation has helped polish the skills of the prisoners so that once released they can earn a good living in the society. The wall which had turned yellowish is now bubbling with life. It not only depicts the ten most essential parts of a prisoner’s life but also houses the lines of the theme song Tinka Tinka. The prisoners discovered their writing skills in this new yet sad life. The reciprocation by inmates in form of letters published in the last part is another rarely visible gesture.

Tinka Tinka Dasna is another milestone in the dedicated journey of Tinka Tinka Foundation.
Dr.Vartika Nanda, prison reform activist and head of Journalism department of Lady Shri Ram College who works with a resolve to build a bridge connecting the two vastly contrasting realities – freedom vs captivity inspite of obvious constraints.

The first hand reporting done by Dr.Vartika Nanda is the true factual reality of the Dasna prison.
A quick brief of Tinka Tinka’s achievements reflect in clear light the founder’s earnest desire to bring change in just ‘breaking news’ notion of media.

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The selection of words are enough to depict crystal clear the strong determination of Dr.Nanda, recipient of Stree Shakti Puruskar to bring a transformation in the lives of the inmates.
Beauty of writing is in the visual imagery that a reader is able to create through the lines.
Every line wets the appetite of a reader for more, and the perfectly accompanied graphics make sure you don’t stop!!!

The first hand reporting, unique bilingual text, high quality print, emotional connect with the readers, views of the inmates and grit determination of the author make the book recommendable. A must read for all to develop a new perspective towards the prisoners who too are humans with a beating heart!!!

“I want their voice to echo in the society.”
– Dr. Vartika Nanda

The best note to conclude on is “Hate the crime and not the criminal.”

Review by – Shraddha Acharya

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