What must be a complete antithesis to recent books about the blind is this autobiography of an Indian whose Hindu background held no hope when he had meningitis at three and a half and lost his sight. Although his father was a western trained doctor, in the public health service in Punjab, although his family were well to do -- there was no chance, no schooling, no understanding for this handicap: it meant begging or music. But Dr. Mehta sent his son at five to Bombay (900 miles away) for what little training the Dadar School could offer and there Ved achieved a certain independence, learned of the Perkins Institute -- and was refused, as he was with almost every other blind organization later -- and found a steady determination to have an education and a future. His chance came from the Arkansas School for the Blind where he headed alone, when he was fifteen, and where he achieved a prideful mobility and eventual communication with students and faculty. There were obstacles for college that had to be overcome; there was Pomona and summer schooling in California; there were readers, near-romances, hitchhiking; there were visits from his father that kept him in touch with his family and country; there was the tragedy of a Nisei fellow student's suicide -- and there was the start for England and Oxford. All of this along with his earlier Indian years in which details of his home life, his father's work and the political events are combined with the different places in which he lived and in which he fought all protection against his blindness. A many-faceted life story, this records a brave progress despite an affliction, a hardwon battle where unceasing encouragement came from his father, a success that is measured not only in terms of achievement but also in degrees of understanding and awareness. An international hats-off here.