My Own Calcutta: A Year of Living Generously

Yay! I did it! After years of pushing my manuscript to the backburner, I took the plunge and moved forward. My first book, My Own Calcutta, was recently published on Amazon. Let me share with you the storyline…

It’s November 2013. As Rita Jacques hears that a typhoon has devastated the Philippines, she’s once again struck by the urge to take her RN skills to the disaster zone as a medical volunteer. She’s done it twice before–first, in the rubble of Haiti after the catastrophic earthquake, then, later the same year, in regions of Pakistan flooded by monsoon rains. But this time is different. Finances are tight and her two daughters require help with their mental health issues.

Rita finds the solution in the words of Mother Teresa: “Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta. Find the sick, the suffering, and the lonely right where you are.” Instead of thinking globally, she acts locally by discovering where she’s needed in her own city. She becomes a volunteer in a Windsor homeless shelter, trading in her stethoscope for an apron on her days off, serving up compassion along with the soup. Vivid memories from Rita’s own past are triggered as she washes dishes alongside juvenile delinquents on community service duty and interacts with the destitute clientele.

The chapters become a fluid blend of her expanding awareness of the intriguing lives of the homeless and her past adventures. Readers will be eager to hear tales from Rita’s travel in 12 countries, whether she’s bicycling by flashlight at midnight in the heart of Australia on a quest for Aboriginal paintings or warding off undesired male advances while backpacking in Indonesia. They’ll also follow her emotional journeys including her struggles with depression and the challenges of family life.

The chapters of My Own Calcutta show a real-life solution to personal problems. In the resilience of the homeless, the nurse finds strength of her own. Ultimately, helping others helps her. It’s not a self-help book but simply a memoir that shows what worked for an ordinary person in an outstanding way. It proves one doesn’t have to go to the ends of the earth to change the world.

Check it out!

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