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Small Acts of Freedom

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  345 ratings  ·  65 reviews
In February 2017, Gurmehar Kaur, a nineteen-year-old student, joined a peaceful campaign after violent clashes at a Delhi University college. As part of the campaign, Kaur's post made her the target of an onslaught of social media vitriol. Kaur, the daughter of a Kargil martyr, suddenly became a focal point of a nationalism debate. Facing a trial by social media, Kaur almo ...more
Paperback, 234 pages
Published February 2018 by Penguin Random House India
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  345 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Nandakishore Varma
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I first came to know of Gurmehar Kaur in early 2017, when she was the centre of a social media storm in India. The daughter of a soldier martyred in the 1999 Kargil war, she had apparently committed the blasphemy of condemning war! Gurmehar had put up a photo of herself, holding a placard titled: "Pakistan didn't kill my father, the war did" - which practically amounted to treason in the eyes of the ultra-nationalists. She was hounded on social media for days, abused, trolled mercilessly and I e ...more
Avinash Pandey
Apr 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
# Media hype not withstanding, except for good prose, this biography lacks soul, with sparse intermingled sprinkle of ' deja- vu' moments.Her fonding for her late father scapes your heart but fails to make deep impact.Few tardy frivolous events mars the flow of otherwise flawless narration.Her intention to resurrect herself as apostle of feminism runs short with obstinate eulogy to her maternal pursuits which is nothing but perseverance in difficult times.
Only chapters dealing with loss of
Jan 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
Gurmeher Kaur lost her father in Kargil war when she was three. Her Ma brought her up against her odds. So did her Nani when she lost her husband. That is the sum of this story. This should have probably been an essay (a short one) and not a book.

I felt the half the book didn't have soul and felt contrived. Especially Gurmeher age two and three felt as if they were written with an aim to eek out sympathy. Loss of a parent at an early age naturally evokes natural empathy but it was something abo
Lubi Lafdewali
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazon delivered at 4pm
Maine ek saans mein padh daali
It’s almost 8pm now
I bawled in some parts
How beautifully it is written
I feel for this kid really
Allah bless her with endless joys and peace always Ameen
#SmallActsOfFreedom #GurmeharKaur
@mehartweets @PenguinIndia
Chetana Thakur Chakraborty
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I lack words to describe how much I loved this book. It's heart-breaking. I could not stop myself from crying while I read it. A must-read for each and every person.
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, india
Gurmehar Kaur writes a memoir which is a tribute to her martyred father. He dies when she is not even turned three. She waits for him to return. She struggles over the next few years to grasp the meanings of death and expects her father to turn up any time. As she grows up, she collects memories from family members to learn about her father. This is not just Gurmehar's story but the story of the courageous women of her family. The narrative goes back and forth between Gurmehar and the stories of ...more
Preeti Yadav
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
I wanted to read about the person she is but the problem with her book is that she over estimates how interesting her life story so far is. Spoiler Alert: It isn't. Yes she lost her father and needed to know what death means early in her life, but then I know a million people like that, with exact same stories. That is not their whole story, that is a PART of their story. Absolutely do not recommend.
Apr 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
Regret buying it.
Meera Nair
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-read, 2018
“I don’t fear this place that people go to and never come back. I fear this place where people have to survive each and every day on memories of two and half years, holding on to them for the rest of their lives, however long they live.”

Small Acts of Freedom is a testament to the strength that binds families together. Three generations of women who’ve had to fight their own battles resiliently display the very qualities in their roots and upbringing that makes them so. Dating back to
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's been a very long time since I've finished a book within 24 hrs.
I did this one.

It is difficult for me to write a completely unbiased review for this one.
Because, I am extremely biased to the subject. I am an army kid.

Not only my father, but my mother has also served in the Indian Army. And so, reading details of Gulmehar's earliest childhood was extremely nostalgic. Living in quarters, smell of brasso marking Sunday mornings, bhaiyyas, parties at the mess,
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book made me realise how levish and magical the life is where we live. The importance of living your life fully at each and every movement.
This book veritably made me cry not because of the plot it created but because of the fortune i m living in. On reading this u can truely empathize with the write up.
Varleen Kaur
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book just in 3 hours. I cried twice while reading this. It is written so beautifully. May god bless the writer.
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
It’s a story that can make you cry.
A story about struggle, faith, hope, love, pride and patriotism. A story of the family of every single soldier who has become a martyr for the country.
And kudos to the author for pouring her heart out and writing it with such compassion.

Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
And after reading it, I am much satisfied .
I won't rate this book, as this book is more about someone's emotions, their journey, sacrifices, which are all true and we can't judge them.

This book will definitely give you a better understanding of what people goes through when they loose their loved ones for their nation. If we loose our Loved ones, we definitely have someone to blame upon, but war families don't blame anyone, infact they feel proud to loose their own for their na
Ratnam Singh
Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it
The book at first seemed lacking the soul it should have as it had all the elements capable of moving you deeply; how a hollow is left in the lives of those survived by a martyr. They move on eventually but their lives are never normal again. A significant first part of the book is plain and written from a point of view of a novice writer. But it then slowly archives depth and becomes an engaging and moving account that teared me up by the end.

During the first half, I kept thinking of giving it
Priyanka Saraswat
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book will make you cry. If you have anyone close to you in the armed forces, it'll hit home. But even without, you'll cry.

I expected to read a book about the incidents that happened post the Ramjas protests when I first picked it up, but this book is a lot more. It's about why Gurmehar could be as resilient as she face on the face of all the anger and hatred, and the generations of women before her that moulded her into a fierce warrior.

It's a beautiful book.
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it
This is neither the one-star book that the bhakt fauj on amazon is making it out to be, nor is it the five-star book that supportive reviewers are calling it. But it is a superbly credible debut, and I really want to see Gurmehar Kaur write more.
Uma Sreekanth
Oct 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
This might be the first time that I've given such a low rating to a book that contradicts its rating on Goodreads. I made a mistake in buying this book and trusting Goodreads :/

I usually don't like DNFing memoirs/autobiographies and the likes, since I think it might be disrespectful to the respective author's story. Having said that, this book was tiresome to complete.

Have you ever thought to yourself that you've gone through a lot in your life and you want to write about
Cydelle Zuzarte
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Small Acts of Freedom
Author: Gurmehar Kaur
Genre: Autobiography, Non-fiction

“I don’t fear this place that people go to and never come back. I fear this place where people have to survive each and every day on memories of two and a half years, holding on to them for the rest of their lives, however long they live.”

Gurmehar Kaur, a Delhi University student came into limelight after an incident at Ramjas College. Soon after, she penned a book titles 'Small Acts Of
Simran Bhatia
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Central Idea: The hardships, struggles and victory of the three generations are beautifully embedded in the book. It is a reality of a little girl, Gurmehar, her mother and her maternal grandmother. The three generations of the ladies are real warriors with a war towards peace in life. They are an epitome of strength, courage and determination. Gurmeharr expresses the subtleties of her emotions in an intriguing and heart warming details.
My Take: The book is subtle, light and soft read with a ti
Audrey Coutinho
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a book about loss, grief, pain, courage and strength. Initially I found the timeline a little confusing, but it all started to make sense later and I guess I wouldn't want it any other way. I love the way it covers four generations of a family, their daily lives and routines and how things change when tragedy strikes.

The story of pain narrated by the little girl broke my heart. It is so hard for children, who have so many questions, so many hopes and dreams, so many plans. Ev
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gurmehar Kaur isn't a name you'd forget by a long shot. The vitriol spewed against her on Social media a couple of years back is too fresh to have even started to fade. But I digress. Small acts of freedom isn't about the sequence of events leading up to the eventual hate thrown at her. Surprisingly, it is about the tenacity and lives of three (very) resilient women who have battled life's toughest enemies out there - loneliness and gloom victoriously. It is only apt that the loneliness so omnip ...more
Siddharrth Jain
Aug 16, 2019 rated it liked it
It is not an easy task to pen down a journey of a martyr, and more so when the martyr happens to be the writer's kin. Gurmehar Kaur however, with much courage and sentiment, has written an emotional memoir of the bond, she shared with her father.

Three year old Gulgul (Gurmehar is fondly called by this name) lost her father, Capt. Mandeep in the Kargil war. I firmly believe, a life lost is a family lost. The harrowing experience of having to lose someone, can continue to daunt on one'
This book should be a mandatory read for people who glorify and fetishize war while sitting in the comfort of their bedroom. These are exactly the sort of people who trolled Gurmehar Kaur to the extent that it became international news and led her to signing this book deal.
Wars break families. Everyone knows this. But the long-term impact it has on a family, especially on children who struggle to fit in and get answers, comes out beautifully in this book.
The writing is simple, which makes
I remember reading about her in the news. She came across as a sensible young woman having to defend hey views and opinions on peace against a bloodthirsty nation when she was just a teenager.

She talks a little about that event but mostly it is the story of her grandmother's drive to educate her daughters against the wishes of so many after her husband died, it is about her mother who learns to live without her husband and raise two daughters of her own, and it is about the little gi
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Racy, not in a bad way, but in a good way, i did not want to put the book down till i finished it type racy. Each word, each story, each chapter made me want to know the next. A story told across three generations, the same story of fate and life being repeated across three generations to carve out human gems. I always had the feeling that the young generation did not have it in them, this book changed that perception, they do have a head on their shoulders, a head which has ideas, thoughts, and ...more
Soham Bhadra
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Borders divide, virtuosity unites

This is a poignant book that, with its simple yet powerful language, tugs at your heartstrings and makes you feel for the man who gave up his future with his beloved wife and darling little girls in the name of protecting our motherland. It instilled in me the unwavering faith in strength of character and willpower that are essential to building a virtuous life that may serve as inspiration for us. As long as we build our character on a strong foundation, we n
Mar 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: my-books
The way she expresses her and her family's story - their strengths, their losses, their hopes - are really comforting. Reading from her perspective, as a child, brings out those emotions.

At times, the writing style seemed to indicate that it was written throughout several years (which it probably was) and edited more at the end. That led to a [seemingly] varying writing style through most of the book. But the raw charm of it all kept it true to its content. I do think the introductio
May 29, 2019 rated it liked it
I finally got around to reading this subsequent to all the hype. The book is written with a lot of emotions, entailing the lives of three strong women from different generations. The author's writing is really good for a first book, but I feel that certain portions of the book contain too much specific and unnecessary details, irrelevant to the story.

But, it is definitely a guide to lead a brave and strong life and motivates to keep going despite anything. I also felt that it was a g
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Gurmehar Kaur is an Indian student activist. She is currently studying English Literature at Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi University. She is also the ambassador for Postcards for Peace, a charitable organisation that helps eliminate any form of discrimination.

In October 2017, Time Magazine used the phrase "free speech warrior" in expressing their opinion of Kaur and included
“There is no big damage as long as things can be repaired, fixed and revived.” 1 likes
“When there is no love in life you need to create some for yourself,” 0 likes
More quotes…