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If I Had to Tell It Again
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If I Had to Tell It Again

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  121 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Sixty-six years of a lifetime gone. There would be no funeral. He had donated his body to the local medical college. It was part of his script, his fantasy about death. He would show his hospital donation certificate to anyone who came to our house. No rituals for me, he would announce. To his mind there was some justice in being cut up by medical students. He had wanted t ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published December 5th 2017 by HarperCollins
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Mridula Gupta
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"The word 'suicidal' came to my mind much later. At that time, it was as simple as taking one step forward- towards release, towards perfect freedom and stillness. Most importantly, there was the knowledge that I would do it without hesitation.

And yet, I hesitated, held back."

Review to come :)
Anukriti Malik
.. But the tears did not tumble , not even a drop. It was if only writing could tackle the work of grieving..

Memoirs are not easy to write. It takes a lot of courage to pen down your feelings in front of everyone. If I Had To Tell It Again is a personal account of the author revolving around her relation with her depressed father. The words are picked with perfection. The author describes her childhood which was brutal and how it shaped her as a person. The book might triger you if you have be
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I always prefer reading fiction because it serves as an escape from busy days filled with monotonous and demanding routine. My will to read had been killed due to moving house and the sight of stacks and stacks of books only made me stray away from reading further. The sight of books no longer cheered me and space constraints started gnawing at my insides. I had to let go of many of my precious books hoarded over the years. We had only started to get settled down in our new home when my niece dr
Kavya Srinivasan
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it
(Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book to read and review)

I don't think this was an easy memoir to write. It is raw and real and believable - all fantastic things in a memoir. However, it took me a while to get into the book. I would say that the last 100 pages were compelling and beautiful, but the 70 odd pages before didn't have some of the fire - giving the reader the impression that the writer was warming up to writing the good stuff.

As someone who's been battling anxiety for a while, t
Read more reviews at Reviewing Shelf.

That bare, sparse cover is a true fit for this book. It radiates what is within. The hazy memories of a lifetime gone by, the words disappearing before they are written. Written hurriedly without a thought given to the capitals. Flowing over the page, unbidden, unstoppable, like a river in motion.

This book is not an easy read. I cannot even fathom how difficult it would have been to write. At one point, the author explains why memoirs are less frequently writ
Krutika Puranik
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vidhya Thakkar
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved the title and cover of the book. It describes a lot of what this book is. The book is all about a relationship between father and a daughter. The daughter describes memories of her brutal childhood, how she was abused. It's about the complicated relationship she shared with her father. It's a story about depression that both father and daughter went through. The words used by the author are so strong and beautifully expressed each and every part of the story. The rich vocabulary used by ...more
Kajal Dhamija
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
A book with raw emotions, brutal honesty and depression.

This memoir left me full of emotions. There are some inexplicable things which make us the way we are, which shape us. But at the end of the day, it is us who make us.

Everything about this book is so refreshing, yet disturbing. This book stands out among the memoirs as the style it is written in is so complex, yet unbelievably simple. There is this lack of monotonous writing, unlike most of the non-fiction books, which makes it such a great
Tavleen Kaur (Travelling Through Words)
A very brave account of the author's extremely difficult and traumatic life. I thank her for finding the courage to write her story and for giving me an opportunity to read it. ...more
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir

"If I had to Tell it Again" is an emotional exposé of the innermost contents of the author’s heart. In this memoir, readers witness a daughter in the process of dissecting the complicated relationship she shared with her late father. Beautifully executed with carefully chosen, measured words, this memoir is a tribute to the author’s memories of those she loved and subsequently lost. At the same time, it is also a coming out piece on mental illness. Gayathri Prabhu takes language to precisely whe
Stuti Das
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
“That night my phone battery dies. Its charger has been forgotten in the office, so the phone remains dead. I sleep deeply. …”

These are the lines with which Gayathri Prabhu’s riveting memoir opens, and you find yourself instantly drawn into this 185 page-long journey of a woman’s coming to terms with the loss of her father with whom she has shared a fraught relationship for the most part of her life. The sense of drama that characterizes its opening pervades the book as Prabhu explores her rela
Prachi Singh
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If I had to tell it again is a memoir of her father written by Gayathri Prabhu. When her mother got to know that she is writing this book she messaged her to write about a wonderful, philanthropic and charismatic man he was. MAN, YES. FATHER, NOT. Her father was a charming storyteller and always available to help someone in the need but unfortunately didn’t let his family subscribe to this service. Since the book is written by a daughter, it is a very intimate account of the father-daughter rela ...more
Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)

Disclaimer : A Huge Thanks to Harper Collins India for providing me with a review copy. My thought, opinions and feelings expressed in this review are, however my own!

CAUTION: This book is a honest representation of the author's life. But it also has triggers for mania, depression and other mental health issues. So, please take care of your mental first - you are precious and you deserved to be dealt with care!

A memoir isn’t a book that you can review. I don’t want to and
Sonal Raj
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shelf-2k19
...Some debts are too large to be repaid, but one has to try nonetheless

Memoirs are becoming rare these days, and this is one of the classic ones I have read in a while. The author recounts her experiences with her father from the childhood through the ups and downs of her adult life right up to his demise. This was indeed a difficult read, because of the deep emotional revelations of one's life, and in parts about things almost everyone can relate to.

The author talks about dynamics of family a
Shailee Basu
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This memor is indubitably one of the finest books I've read in a while. I read this book in one sitting, I just could not put it down. The book is an amalgamation of grief, love, loss, courage and hope. It takes you through a plethora of emotions and tangled relationships- an apotheosis of the metamorphosis of life. It also raises a few fundamental questions about life.

It revolves around her relationship with her father, her family, her dog, her marriage and most importantly her relationship wit
Tarun Surya
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is not an easy book to read. Not because of its language (simply but powerfully written); not because of its length (a mere 180-odd pages); not even because it is a true story. This book wasn't easy for me to read because it brought up memories I'd rather not relive and questions I'd rather not answer. This book, for me, was a mix of Em and The Big Hoom and Ghachar Ghochar. While the shifting perspectives, lack of names and the inclusion of a one act play in the middle of the narrative were ...more
Reet Singh
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this book.
I am seared by the stories that pour out of the pages in a stuttering rhythm.
The stories are brutal, yet there's tenderness and compassion in evidence. The telling is cruel, yet kind; there is love and loathing, hope and despair, but - above all - there is honesty and valor!
There is unimaginable suffering, but there is healing - the last doesn't make everything all right, but it is something. I'll be thinking of little else in the days to come....
Venkataraghavan Srinivasan
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An incredible read. Taut, unflinching prose. A meditation on death, depression, and love. Told with a dispassion that can only come from deep emotional involvement. Can be read in the course of an afternoon, but will stay with you for long after.
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very poignant book about depression and how it impacts people in different ways. Really liked it.
Apurva Sheel
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This memoir is one of those books that need to be read by everybody in order to understand the effects a mental illness can have on a person's life including their family, work, and life in general. received a review copy of this book by the author and I feel incredibly lucky that I was chosen for that. I cannot emphasize the importance of reading this book which is a narration of her (and indirectly her father's) life and reveals secrets the author probably has never told anyone. The courage wi ...more
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is phenomenal Book. Gayatri Prabhu has been stupendously brave in being brutally honest. And this book, in my estimation will heal generations to come.
Tia Raina
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
As a daughter and friend of an addict all I can say is she has written about the behaviour, thoughts and emotions of family and loved ones of an addict so perfectly.

So many details that may seem inconsequential or like mere insignificant personality traits are the ones that make the biggest impact on children, and I find she has identified exactly those.

It feels good to know one is not alone in this experience.
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Book Review :

* I would give this book 4 stars out of 5 .

I have never read a memoir before. And I am so very thankful to HarperCollins India for sending this copy my way. It indeed brought back a lot of memories I had with my father before his demise. Like the incidents of a loving father-daughter relationship really left me with teary eyes. I had heard about memoirs but never actually experienced how it felt to be reading one. Reading someones deepest events in life through their very own words
Surabhi Chatrapathy
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Relationships, those we share with our families are particularly load bearing ones in our lives. How they build and pan out, often dictates huge aspects of our personalities.

If I had to tell it again is a memoir, where in Gayatri Prabhu explores her relationship with her father in retrospect. She revisits the grief and glory of their lives in order to understand it, accept it and let go of it.

It sounds simple, but it definitely isn't.
To let go of an abusive relationship within your family, th
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
If I had to tell it again is a memoir by Gayathri Prabhu, an account of her personal life. The ingoings of her family, stories which didn't leave the four walled home and cross the street outside. The stories which remained bottled in, weighing her shoulders down. Stories not just her own, but of her sister, mother and father, the family which everybody sought as perfect. The author talks and writes about her own struggle with depression, chasing perfection while trying to live up to her father' ...more
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Humans break your heart. And so do books like "If I had to Tell it Again". It is very hard to review, judge and pass my opinions on someone's memoir. Isn't it the story of the author's life? How should I judge it? I have no answer. This memoir brings to you the tale of Gayathri Prabhu's strained relationship with her depressed father. I could only imagine how the author managed to pen down a few of her most painful memories so efficiently that it almost arouses empathy from the reader.

The memoir
Stuti Gupta
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
To the author: If I had to tell it again is not just a piece of artwork but also a labyrinth of suffering, a very personal of course-where you hold the readers’ hand and tell them – it is going to be mostly dark, but do not be afraid, I’m going to take you places, and let’s unfold this darkness together.
This book has made me feel so much, that I cannot begin to describe but here’s my attempt to review your work…
The book ‘If I had to tell it again’ is the writer’s true story where she untangles a
Nandita Krishna
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For those of you who have looked into the dark barrel of depression, this one is for you. For those of you who have your narratives of suffering, recalled, replayed and dissolved into your conscience, who have heard the relentless echoes of your deepest fears unwillingly surfacing at moments of vulnerability, this one is for you. For those of you who have drowned in the dark mass of mental dehydration, who have been stuck in the loop of exhaustion and more exhaustion, whose voice feebly echoes o ...more
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thank you #HarperCollinsIndia for the review copy.

Memoirs never comes the easy way and I am no one to judge it. The knotted emotions in a daughter's heart found their way to the world through her pen.
This memoir is saga of triumph of a daughter against the vagaries of her life,a strained daughter - father relationship,a depressed father who lived in denial,a sister who is the only support and a wife who quivered under the shadow of her mercurial husband.

Memoir starts with the death of author's
Shambhavi Pandey
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
“..Some debts were too large to be repaid, but one has to try nonetheless.”

Memoirs are always grueling and heavy affairs to pull off because of the interlaced emotions and intimacy at varying personal levels. “If I had to tell it again” is a moving memoir of a daughter’s abstruse love for her flawed fervent father. It emanates from the repercussions of demise and materializes into a stirring difficult read because of the emotional revelations that are brought in light from the deep cavernous cav
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Gayathri Prabhu is the author of four novels, a memoir, a study of B&W cinema, and a novella in prose poetry: 'Love in Seven Easy Steps' (Magic Mongrel, 2021), 'Shadow Craft: Visual Aesthetics of Black and White Hindi cinema' (Bloomsbury, 2021), 'Vetaal and Vikram' (HarperCollins, 2019), 'If I Had to Tell It Again' (HarperCollins, 2017), 'The Untitled' (Fourth Estate, HarperCollins, 2016), 'Birdsw ...more

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