Rahila Gupta

Don’t Wake Me: The Ballad of Nihal Armstrong (paperback)


The love story of a mother and her disabled son. NIHAL – a boy born to silence. His mother – convinced, in the teeth of all advice, that he can communicate and live a rich life. A powerful, funny and deeply moving account of their struggles and triumphs. Starting with a difficult conception and a terrifying delivery with unsympathetic midwives on hand, Nihal’s mother says ‘her backbone lost its steel’ when the doctor predicts that this gurgling, smiling baby would not grow up to walk, talk, read or write. When Nihal’s mother discovers he has a sensitive and intelligent personality trapped inside his body, she does everything in her power to set it free but mostly comes up against brick walls. Even in schools where the teachers should have known better! A rollercoaster of loss, grief, joy, Nihal’s wicked sense of humour and the indomitable human spirit.

Available from Amazon and Playdead Press