KOZHIKODE: Nihari Mandali, the burn survivor from Andhra Pradesh who showed the world that will power could defeat the deformities, is preparing to release her autobiography - ‘Maattathinte Kuthipp’ in Malayalam. The city-based Olive Publications is expected bring out the book mid-July. Ms Nihali, who set up an NGO Burn Survivor Mission Saviour to help rehabilitate burn survivors like her, is hoping to spread awareness that it does not stop a person from living their life.
She was just 20, a girl from Puligadda village of Krishna district, when she was married to a person, out of the family’s choice. A girl who just passed Plus Two, she was shocked to get adjusted to a husband, who ordered to carry his shit and urine, just because he ‘did not want to go out to the toilet at night.’ The living conditions at the in-laws were more than what she could tolerate, and she was asked to leave if not able to ‘get adjusted’ to their life. Nihari left the house when she was three-months pregnant in July 2009, ending a four-month marriage. She tried to commit suicide by burning herself.
“I tried the full sticks of that matchbox, but only the last one could burn me,” she writes. She remembers a four-month stay at various hospitals and how she decided to pursue her studies and completed graduation in political science from Krishnadevaraya University, Anantapur. By that time, she got a job in cosmetic surgeon Dr Harikiran Chekuri’s Redefine plastic surgery centre in Hyderabad as a cosmetic and plastic surgery counsellor.
The visit to Germany and Italy for book fairs and a meeting with M.K. Muneer MLA, she believes, as the turning point that made her closer to Kerala. Freelance journalist Lalila Zain is helping her write the book, which also narrates the experiences of other victims who suffered burns while attempting suicide or in accidents. Nihari’s mantra to them is that inner beauty is more important, and she proves that through the fashion shows.