How rarely do we come across a book which stays with us even after hours of completing it! Some books are not written with words but soul. Radhika Swarup is one name which have got added in my "favorite authors" list after reading her book "Where the River Parts". The cover of the book is so soothing that you already get an idea that you are about to read something very decent, natural and Indian even if not an excellent piece of literature. But after completing this book I can say that rarely an author manages to write a book in such a manner that not even once you feel that the things are exaggerated or faked even when it's based on a theme and topic where many authors end up doing the mistake by sounding preachy and patriotic.
The book starts in the period of 1946 and speaks about the tension before the partition and how the two families of different religions- Hindu and Muslim who share a very close bond are about to get affected by it. Asha, the daughter from the Hindu family, is having sisterly bond with Nargis, the daughter of the Muslim family. Eventually, Asha falls in love with Nargis's brother, Feroze. And then the partition takes place and they get separated. The sufferings that Asha's family had to bear haunts her even after many years. And Asha's journey right from her teenage to old-age is told in this book in one of the best ways possible.
The way Radhika Swarup have traveled through times and narrated the journey of Asha from being a daughter to lover to wife to mother to grandmother is incredible and the way characterization and maturity is handled time to time is indescribable. The pain of separation and losing one's own family is reflected through the character of Asha so well that sometimes author does not even talk about it but you can feel the same through dialogues, conversations etc. The way Asha nurtures the feeling in her heart for the people who are left behind even after years speaks volume. Asha's decision for her grand-daughter in the last few pages is something which will win your heart even when her daughter is against the marriage.
The re-union of Asha and Feroze is handled so beautifully that one cannot imagine that it's just a fiction story and it does not have real people involved. Such a perfectly written book this is! Author have handled many scenarios very elegantly without making it sound controversial. Even when the theme was so critical, author haven't made any opinions for any religions and kept everything emotional, sentimental and hearty affairs. This book is surely something that I shall always have in my shelf and pick it up whenever I would want to feel lots of love and emotions. I give it 4.25 stars out of 5. Definitely, recommended.
<iframe style="width:120px;height:240px;" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="//ws-in.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=IN&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=a07e2-21&marketplace=amazon®ion=IN&placement=8129141965&asins=8129141965&linkId=ccd56ee57c62bc21349557ec85c2c40a&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true"></iframe>