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A Life Less Ordinary

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  304 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Abandoned by her mother, beaten by her father, and hurriedly married off at twelve to an abusive man twice her age, Baby Halder's early life was marked by overwhelming challenges and heartbreak. Exhausted and desperate, the young mother finally fled with her three children in 1999 to Delhi, where she found work as a maid in some of the city's wealthiest homes. Expected to ...more
ebook, 192 pages
Published June 17th 2008 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30)
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Pushpam Singh
May 27, 2012 Pushpam Singh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My friend Aditya recommended me this book and told me this book is one gem of a memoir. I ordered the book straightaway from online bookstore. I took me 3 days to finish this book but the feeling while I was reading the book can't be explained in life time.
The book has been written in such simple tone and words that anyone can read it at ease. I found the incidents heart touching and at times felt disgusted at the treatment women gets in this society.
Baby Halder author of the book, starts her
Jan 21, 2011 Imas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Baby Halder, seorang perempuan muda asal India, pembantu rumah tangga, kawin muda, seorang diri menghidupi tiga orang anak, ditinggalkan ibunya saat kecil, disiksa suami, tak dapat melanjutkan sekolah. Sama sekali bukan hidup yang indah. A life less ordinary ditulis sendiri oleh Baby, dibantu Sahib nya alias majikan ditempat ia bekerja sebagai PRT.

Dituliskan dengan sederhana, walaupun membaca buku ini tidak sampai mengeluarkan banjir airmata tapi sakit yang Baby rasakan dapat dirasakan. Salah s
Jwana Nakle
Dec 31, 2014 Jwana Nakle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
لم أجد سبباً يمنعني من اعطاء هذا الكتاب خمسة نجوم و ربما لو استطعت لأعطيته أكثر...
لقد وجدت نفسي في مكتبة كبيرة أمام ألاف الكتب و للصراحة لم يكن هذا الكتاب خياري الأول ولا حتى الأخير... لكن بالصدفة فقط و جدته و لم اكن سأتناوله اطلاقا إلا أني عندما رأيت الكاتبة هندية و تحكي قصة حياتها أخذته بلا تردد...
قصة بيبي ليست ككل القصص السعيدة و لا الحزينة... وبيبي بالرغم من أنها لم تتلقى تعليما فهي اروع من تلك المدعية غادة السمان و أروع من اي كاتبة أخرى قراءة لها للآن... فهي لاتتلهف للرجال بل للحياة و لتع
Oct 30, 2007 Robynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written by a poor woman trying to survive in India. She was married at a young age to an abusive, indifferent man. Finally she left with her children to find work. After a time she found employment in the home of an educated and kind man. He and his friends encouraged her to write and this is her first book. In a straight forward style she has told her life story. An important book which provides a glimpse into the life of one poor woman, and perhaps insight into the lives of struggling women ar ...more
Apr 08, 2010 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very inspirational story - one I know I'll remember for a long time. The reason I didn't LOVE this book is that the writing was so spare; I believe that is also part of its charm (for those who really love it). Myself, I would've liked more details about situations that were mentioned but not explained fully. I would've loved more descriptions.

In any case, this book is certainly recommended - just reading the dust jacket you can see that it's an amazing story. Reading through the auth
Aditi Krishna
Feb 06, 2014 Aditi Krishna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simple and has the capacity to move you to tears.
Gita Romadhona
Gantungkan impianmu. Kata-kata itu terasa begitu familier bukan di telinga kita? Dari kecil, kita terbiasa disugesti untuk menggantungkan mimpi setinggi-tingginya. Lalu, kita diberi tangga untuk menggapainya kembali, pelan-pelan. Diberi rengkuhan, diberi genggaman, kita diberi banyak kemudahan. Sayangnya meski dengan semua kemudahan-kemudahan itu, kita sering kali lalai, kita lupa pada mimpi yang mula, kita menyerah untuk menggapainya lagi. Maka menyemaklah mimpi kita tak terlihat, tak tergapai, ...more
Sushmita Rao
As I reached the end of the book, I was moved because I have never heard a story like this before. How often do you get a chance to read about a maid's life and that too, in her own words (the book was originally written in Bengali and was then translated to Hindi and English)? I had to take a break for two days because the domestic violence parts are quite disturbing. But the way Baby came out of hell is inspiring.

I had few issues with the book though: I somehow didn't like the way Baby jumps
Jun 04, 2015 Arathi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a remarkable story. I feel horrible to give book an OK rating. It is a quick read, has a very simple story line but the way it is written is very abrupt, with confusing dialogs and choppy at times. The author switches from first person to third person and it is distracting but I guess at the same time, that is part of the appeal for many. It could also be because it was translated from Bengali. The book could have used a lot of editorial assistance but I guess they chose to leave it as is. ...more
Mar 06, 2008 misha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished, memoirs, 2008
I feel like an evil, evil person - I hated this book.

Baby's story is striking (and sadly not at the same time- there are far too many abused people in this world), and I applaud her for finding the courage to write it herself. However, having a tough life and a pen and paper does not a writer make. She's very brave, and there are moments of true beauty in her writing, but for the most part I found her style very uncomfortable. I found myself almost itchy from the writing - especially when she t
A Life Less Ordinary: A Memoir by Baby Halder is a personal memoir about a woman growing up poor in India. She gets married off to a man that does not love or appreciate her. Eventually she is able to leave her husband and finds work as a maid in Delhi but that does not end the hardships for Baby. Now she has to work a demanding job and take care of her own children on her own. Even though she faces a lot of challenges in life, Baby does not pity herself.

May 11, 2007 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Baby's story is a real-life Cinderella story, Indian style. She's abandoned by her mother. Her father marries her off to a brutal, abusive man when she's only twelve years old. Her tales of her early youth are heart-wrenching. But this brave young woman perseveres and overcomes against all odds. Baby's prose is a bit elementary and she would have benefitted from more editorial assistance, especially when she's referring to herself in the third person. However, her story held my interest and is w ...more
Semua akan indah pada waktunya. Itulah ending buku ini. Namun, perjuangan Baby dalam bertahan hidup memang mengagumkan. Gw salut dengan usaha Baby menuliskannya. Meskipun terkesan flat, namun kebingungan, kesedihan serta kebahagiaan Baby terpancar kuat dalam tulisannya tanpa bahasa dramatis yg berlebihan.

Hidup wanita di India (bahkan mungkin di banyak negara) tidaklah mudah. Namun, lewat buku ini gw makin yakin bahwa wanita memang diciptakan sangat kuat dan kokoh
Sheela Word
Moving and convincing narrative. A young woman who is betrayed by nearly everyone close to her makes a brave, but risky, decision that nearly ends in disaster for herself and her children. She is literally saved through the kindness of strangers, or rather, a particular stranger, who recognizes her worth.

What gives this story heft is the reader's knowledge that Baby (her real name) represents legions of mistreated girls and women in India.

I'll probably read the sequels.
Benedetta Ammannati
Libro interessantissimo di una ragazza poverissima, abbandonata dalla madre, maltrattata da padre e matrigne (varie) e semianalfabeta, sposata con un uomo dispotico e violento che abbandonerà. Troverà infine il riscatto sociale facendo la donna delle pulizie da un brav'uomo che le insegnerà a leggere e scrivere. Da un suo quaderno proviene il racconto della sua vita.
Davvero interessante.
Voto: 10
Arfi Noor
Mar 06, 2013 Arfi Noor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Andai saya menjadi baby, ingin rasanya menendang sang suami yang sangat tidak peduli pada isterinya yang sedang hamil bahkan sampai melahirkan. Kekuatan yang berasal dari anak-anaknya sangat mengagumkan. Terlebih sebagai seorang wanita tanpa kasih sayang ibu, baby patut di contoh oleh mereka yang merasa kurang beruntung. Hormat pada majikan dan jujur, sudah sangat langka hadir pada diri khadimah-khadimah zaman sekarang. Indiaholic =)
Ian Sergeant
Mar 28, 2011 Ian Sergeant rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A very simply worded narrative, purely chronologically arranged. No reading challenges, compexity or subtly.

The only potential interest comes from the plot, and personally I didn't find the story inspirational. Unfortunately I didn't find it surprising or shocking either, just familiarly depressing.

Nov 24, 2010 Jeanette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
Translated from Hindu. Written very matter of fact by a poor woman in India. It is the story of her life from when her abusive father married her at age 12 to an abuser. She finally left alone with her 3 children to make a better life for her and her children. International acclain. Borrowed from Olivia.
Jul 22, 2008 Marcia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
Given the background of the writer this is an amazing book but compared to many other popular memoirs, this is pretty unfinished.
Jun 03, 2016 Neeraj marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
An inspirational story that gives a candid idea about condition of suppressed woman.
Sudip Saha
Head good reviews
Feb 09, 2008 Pratima rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing story of this woman's tragedies in life and her strength to endure and survive it all, and finally become a writer with considerable merit.
Oct 25, 2007 Carey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
currently reading this...just started.
Conrad Barwa
A somewhat disappointing read, surprised that it is so well-known.
Jan 04, 2012 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was a lovely story, although by no means revolutionary.
Jul 08, 2010 Kimberly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
it was alright. kind of sad.
Bimal Mohta
Good book in simple language portraying struggle of an ordinary women.
Jul 06, 2015 Yufan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
sad story , but good ending.
Nipuni Dayaratne
Nipuni Dayaratne rated it really liked it
Mar 29, 2013
Ann Shinoy
Ann Shinoy rated it it was amazing
Sep 05, 2016
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Baby Halder (or Haldar) is an Indian domestic help and author, whose acclaimed autobiography Aalo Aandhari (A Life Less Ordinary, 2006) describes her harsh life growing up and as a domestic worker, later translated into 21 languages, including 13 foreign languages.
More about Baby Halder...

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“If a writer starts worring about what he or she has left out or forgotten, they might not be able to write even a single line.” 9 likes
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