Title – Unstoppable
Authors – Padmaja Shastri and Venkatraman Pichumani
Genre – Non-fiction
Unstoppable is a compilation of inspiring stories, of the extraordinary lives of ordinary people, of people who have overcome odds to pursue various athletic endeavors. The cover features blade runner Kiran Kanojia – who was pushed out of a running train while fighting off a thief, causing a leg to get entangled with the moving train, and ultimately be amputated due to loss of blood supply in the nerves. Kiran is the first woman blade runner in India and runs half marathons. The foreword is written by Fauja Singh – who started running in his eighties, to overcome the grief of losing his wife, daughter, and a son, and ran full marathons right up to the age of 101. “Don’t run just to be fit or to lose weight. Run to liberate yourself. Run to find yourself“, is his advice.
With an introduction to such spectacular feats, you know you’re in for a treat with the remainder of the book. And the book doesn’t disappoint. From visually impaired mountaineers, to cancer survivors running half marathons, brain surgery patients, angioplasty patients, people managing studies and work with abject poverty and yet excelling at marathon events, the book takes us through a number of personalities who have beaten adversities and come out victorious.
Starting off with an absolutely splendid cover photo, the book is filled with colored pictures of each of the individuals mentioned within, making it more relatable to the reader. The tagline is a tad misleading – they’re not all marathoners, although some of them run shorter distances, and they indulge in a myriad of sports and other activities. But a worthy read nevertheless. Fauja Singh sums it up well – “Don’t just read this book and be full of awe. Push your boundaries, like the people in this book did.”
Rating: 3/5 (For the quality of writing. Nothing takes away from what these individuals have achieved. My disappointment lies with the writers and the style of writing, which is not as engaging and doesn’t do justice to the individuals written about.)