There are few books which makes me passionate for them. But don't presume that these are only the books whom I rate 4 or more. Some times there are books which I rate 2.5 but still they keep me attracted for a day or two. Today, the book I have finished was started by me last evening. I read 1/3rd part of it. I specially woke up early to read it at 5 AM today and then went to college. I returned back home early than usual and read it till now. This is what a good writer does to his readers- Makes them love his writing passionately. "Burning Sapphires" is the novel I am talking about today. It's written by Suresh K Goswami. The 259 pages novel is published by Partridge- A Penguin Company, a publisher whom I am reading a lot these days. If you'll ask me to express this book in the shortest way possible, my reply would be- SALUTE! Yes, this book deserves respect.
Subject / Content
The “Burning Sapphires “, though a fiction, is a story which drives you through the reality of infestation of terrorism, violence and atrocities that resulted in Exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from their Home Land on one hand and the other hand continued turmoil which never paused in the valley disrupting and destroying the life of each common man, The Kashmiri.
Part of Innocent Kashmiris who fled from the valley have been struggling to survive for the last 24 years in refugee camps around Jammu, Nagrota, Udhampur in J& K State, and some other locations across India.
And the others who were left behind are continuously humiliated, their esteems destructed, their women raped, and their young ones murdered leaving countless homes devoid of life . . .
. . . for what purpose?
The purpose may be ANY but the fact remains that The Paradise, its people and their stories are getting lost as they go through a merciless genocide.
About the Author:-
During my long standing career as a professional Chief Executive and Managing Director of many multinationals in Africa and Middle East I had this passionate urge to write, especially about my experiences highlighting sensitive social issues that are manifested in the lives of millions of fellow human beings. But it took me to cross 60 years of my life to listen my inner self and it was at this point that I left whatever I was doing and took to creative writing. I wrote a couple of scripts and two years back I made my first independent film, converting one of my favorite scripts into an award winning feature film “Ziyarat” that earned ample awards and recognition across the globe. I made another award winning documentary “My Heroes” andI continued to write few other stories but concentrated on my book Burning Sapphires which was completed recently and published by Partridge, a Penguin company. In my mind I look forward to pen down many stories from the terror ridden Valley of Kashmir-a paradise lost, which happens to be my mother land.
Coming to the story, I liked how it started describing all about Udana, her 2 husbands and 2 daughters. Suddenly, the description and introduction of Ghulab gives light to the book. The best part about the book has been its skill to make us feel that we are in Kashmir; a wonderful description of the state and its beautiful area makes the first half an exploring read. I just wanted to visit the heaven after reading few beautiful lines. Ali Murtaza's inclination towards Ghulab and being a saviour to her gives story a twist that makes this book a wonderful thriller for a time being. The scene when his men attacks Ghulab's school and kills her stepfather are two terrific chapters in the book that frightened me but still, it made me feel happy reading it. :-) Khalid's view in the story is also perfectly driven time to time which makes us believe in his spirit too.
Later on, the final turning point of the story when Ghulab decides to take an action against these men is wonderfully written. The great thing about the whole book has been its realistic plot even when a girl is shown as a victim and then turning into a revolutionist. If you'll ask me, I would say that for the whole time I kept presuming Ghulab's character based on Malala Yousafzai. I would love to know by the author if he wrote the character keeping her in mind. The whole take on the sufferings of Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims is shared in a very easy and interesting way. After reading this book, I feel like knowing more about the politics of Kashmir and the sufferings of this particular class. The entry of Dolores brings charm in the story again during the anti-climax phase. The magic that she does in a very short period of time makes her as much favorite as Ghulab.
In short, I would say a perfect read and if you miss it, you are really missing out something. Suresh K Goswami should be applauded as much as possible for this great novel that he has brought at a very perfect time when we need to understand the situation of Kashmir. There are few drawbacks too: The biggest is the worst cover page for a terrific book like Burning Sapphires. I would seriously ask author to change the cover page with the next edition itself. Then, writing after each chapter that it has ended isn't a good thing to do in a novel. It's perfect only up to the drafting and editing phase. And a very special drawback in the end:- He should have written it little more. I was loving it, man. :-) Haha! I give it 4.75* out of 5 undoubtedly.
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Thanks a lot.