Review Pen: A Warrior Dies Dancing by Payel Bhattacharya

Payel Bhattacharya

Author– Payel Bhattacharya

Book– A warrior dies dancing- That’s who I am

Previous Works– Mum and Princess go spying , Sweeter than revenge

Publishers– Amazon Kindle

Number of Pages– 125

Format Kindle


This is the life story of a girl and her strife with a bizarre disease in an outré condition. It depicts the account of a spirited fight of a true warrior who refuses to give up under any circumstances where her life could fall kerplunk. In her noir life story dancing with death, with courage and hope she stands without the hint of slightest slouch and with more confidence.


A warrior dies dancing- That’s who I am, a survival story by Payel Bhattacharya, is true to its title. It is the story of a warrior, who has danced to the tunes of death, several times and still not given up.

Payel Bhattacharya, at a tender age of 16 days suffered from an infection that made the doctors second guess her living. Years later, her body revealed her VHL positive status. VHL or von Hippel-Lindau is a genetic defect that affects up to ten parts of the body, including the brain, spine, ears, eyes, lungs, liver, pancreas and kidneys.

VHL or vivil (as the author calls it), started showing its true colors and the author had to undergo countless surgeries, from a very young age. It stood as a wall in front of her education and stopped her from enjoying her life as a kid.

Payel Bhattacharya
A warrior dies dancing

In this autobiography, Payel Bhattacharya speaks about her life, which has had some rather dramatic twists and turns. Her family has been ill-treated by their kin and deprived of what was rightfully theirs. The evil doesn’t stop at that, the paternal side of her family, had always been there to have a sly smile at their miseries.

Though it might seem from the lines above, that the author was a victim of her disease, she was not, the woman dragged herself away from the ‘victim’ status and has posed herself as a warrior. Her life is the perfect example of the quote, “Never lose hope”.

I am in my early 20s, and as every other person, who is in his/her early 20s, even I have no idea of the way my life is taking its turn. I have had a really hard time, trying to accept that the life is a rat race and if you are not in it to win it, you might as well go home. And for a good part of the time, I have been thinking that things are so not right. But this book, changed the course of my thoughts, a bit. At first, I was not able to stand all those things that were happening to the author. Apart from being unfortunate, a greater part of it was all wrong. All I could think of, was, “She does not deserve all that pain, why does she have to fight that lot, only to live?”

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As the chapters increase their figure, I am not pained for the author anymore, in fact, I am proud of her. I am proud of the way she has not let herself be the victim. I am proud of her for not losing hope. And I am grateful for her, for teaching me the lesson that life becomes that, what you make of it. There is so much suffering in the world that I should be grateful for the life I am leading. Instead of being sad about the things I don’t have, I better focus on the things I can achieve.

Payel Bhattacharya, is a warrior, a survivor and has the courage to say it to the reader that, Life is to be celebrated, for our days are numbered. If you think you gave failed your life is some aspect, read this book and draw your inspiration from this lady who did not give up. And if still doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what else will.

Talking about the literary aspects of the book, the book is beautifully written. It has the perfect amount of words to enrich your vocabulary. I wasn’t bored of the way Payel Bhattacharya writes, I loved the flow of the worlds and the way she adds her messages to the reader, without their knowledge.

The book’s cover sports the sketch of a lady with a bow and arrows, who is dressed beautifully, and stands in a position that indicates that she was dancing, making it a perfect match for the title.


Cover- 5 stars

Title- 5 stars

Blurb- 5 stars

Content- 5 stars

Writing and Presentation- 4 star

Overall- 4.8 stars out of 5


The book is motivational and the facts are authentic, but the only thing that might bother the reader, is the pain. But then, it must be a really good book that makes you feel the pain of the character in it.

This story is my own story, of my personal experiences and it is extremely difficult for even the most thoughtful observers to picture how presented with so many difficulties, struck by the vagaries of fortune why in this strange life and a strange world I became a warrior woman; because it’s your insides that count, that makes you a warrior, a princess; even if you happen to be missing some of them.

Life is to be celebrated, moments cherished because our days are numbered. Meanwhile all we need is to have an open mind, understanding; and kindness.

Payel Bhattacharya

Reviewed by- Banaja Prakashini

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About Payel Bhattacharya–

The author Payel Bhattacharya was born and raised in Kolkata but she currently resides in Delhi for the past decade. She was struck by a rare disease early on in her life known as VHL or von Hippel-Lindau disease. She underwent countless surgeries which intervened with her studies and acquiring degrees and getting herself established in life. She expressed herself and the turmoil she was in through her sketches and poetry.

After her diagnosis she wrote an article on VHL in She wrote her first long poem “The Warrior Princess” to describe the way she is combating the dire situations. She has the rarest form of multiple brain tumors and took it as a challenge to write detective fiction. She has lost vision of her right eye due to an optic nerve tumor in brain and she writes with her one-eyed vision. “Mum and Princess go spying” is her first attempt to write mystery stories which was followed by the novelette “Sweeter than revenge”.  Her autobiographical fictional account of life has been published by Sahitya Akademi’s bimonthly journal of the September- October issue 2018.


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