Book Review: ‘Kaash Kashmir’ By Rajesh Talwar

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KAASH KASHMIR: BUY ON AMAZON

Book Blurb

The play opens with a scene in a garden opposite a large double-storey house in which a young teenage boy of school going years confesses his love to a young girl. The boy, Rohan, is a Kashmiri Hindu and the girl, Ayesha, a Muslim. The two families, the Pandits and the Shahs are neighbours. Soon after this profession of love, together with thousands of other Kashmiri Pandits, the boy and his family are forced to leave Srinagar, leaving their house and possessions behind. It is the beginning of 1990 that marks the Kashmiri Pandit exodus. At first the family stays in a refugee camp in Jammu, awaiting the possibility of return, but hopes of return rapidly dwindling, eventually they move to Delhi.Rohan, who is still in school, decides to join the Indian Army.

Ten years pass. Rohan is now a Major in the army, and is transferred to Srinagar, where he once again encounters Ayesha and her brother who is now part of the independence movement. What will happen now? Will Rohan and Ayesha’s childhood romance be rekindled? Will Ayesha’s brother be arrested or killed by the Indian army? The play explores sensitive issues in a fair and compassionate manner trying to bring in all points of view, eventually reaching the conclusion that the interests of Kashmiris is best served by their choosing to remain with India.

Essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the tragedy that is present day Kashmir and the way forward….

 

My Rating: 3.5/5

My Review

What piqued my interest was that the book is written in the form of a play and I have always enjoyed reading /watching plays. The plot is a fictional love story set in the 90’s in Kashmir. For as long as I remember, Kashmir has been a sensitive topic we all have been reading/listening about for decades now. Although I always wanted to know more about it, I never particularly took out time to read or gather more info about it. So when I read the book blurb, I had to read it.

The language is simple, and the story is well-narrated, could have been better though. It gives great insights about what happened and how it happened in January 1990 in Kashmir, the details of the Kashmiri Pandits exodus and their plight when they were forced to leave the Kashmir Valley, which had been their homeland for centuries, succumbing to the selfish motives of politicians and militants.

The love story between the Hindu boy and Muslim girl, gives the story a real-life angle, as all the Kashmiris were simply Kashmiris who shared the same culture, language, neighbourhood, as is always the case I believe until a political angle gets tagged to it. Though laced with a fictional story, the situation narrated in the play are factual and tragic.

I did enjoy the read and it helped me understand more than what little I knew about this topic.

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Book Review – A Way Back Into Love by Veronica Thatcher

OK, so I have returned to my blog (that was dead for exactly 2 years!). I have to thank book review tours for this. I have been reviewing books with them for a while now (on Goodreads and Amazon), but it’s only now that I thought of writing the review on my blog (and revive it at last).

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A Way Back Into Love

Disclaimer: This is going to be solely my opinion and observation about the book as I had received a complimentary copy for an honest review.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

My rating: 3.5/5

The story is about Emily Stevens – a cheerful teen and her best friend since kindergarten Derek Thorpe. The friendship of fifteen years takes a different turn as Emily realizes she is in love with Derek. But as fate would have it, one night something happens which changes Emily’s life completely. Heartbroken and dejected on learning that the feeling is not mutual, Emily decides to leave for Boston in the middle of the term – away from Derek, away from the place and away from everything. Derek is clueless about Emily’s drastic step. But she cannot run forever, and so when she finishes her med school and returns home – she is back to all that she had once left behind.

Five years is a long time to change people, but Emily’s feelings for Derek haven’t. She has to get over her heartache, for Derek is engaged to marry her sister Emma now. But life once again brings them closer as they start working together at a hospital. Over time, more life-changing, fate-changing events take place in both their lives. Does Derek finally learn why Emily had left him 5 years ago? Does Emily learn what Derek truly feels for her? Do they finally know what exactly went wrong between them that changed both their lives?

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My Review

I seldom read romance novels and it has been a really long time since I read one, so I decided to read this. Though the plot was simple, the author managed to keep the readers interested with the flashback-styled narration that switched between different times in the lives of the characters. The book didn’t exactly keep me hooked, in fact, I took quite longer than usual to finish a book. But that’s just me, maybe those fond of romantic novels would disagree with me on this. Overall, it was an okay book for a light read. My best wishes to the author for her next book(s).