AUTHOR: Madhuri Vijay
DURATION: 14 hrs
NARRATOR: Sneha Mathan
Other formats also available.
This is the story of a 24 year old girl Shalini living in Bangalore with her parents.The story has been narrated by Shalini herself. The story begins from present where Shalini goes through an emotional trauma after her mother’s death.
This also takes her down the memory lane to her childhood where she recalls her parents weird bonding and her own bonding with her parents.
She recalls a Kashmiri vendor called Bashir Ahmed visiting them to sell clothes. Bashir usually visited them on monthly basis.
As the story of the past unfolds,Shalini’s family begins to develop a warm bond with Bashir. Then once Bashir visited them after a long time. When asked by Shalini’s father, Bashir shared that situations back in Kashmir are not fine due to terrorism. Also, he had to vacate his accomodation in Bangalore so now he doesn’t have a place to stay.
Hearing this, Shalini’s father offers Bashir to stay at their home as long as he feels. However things turn sour when during a party hosted by Shalini’s father to introduce Bashir to his friend circle,just a day before he was leaving,some ideological differences arise after which Bashir leaves early the next morning. After this,Bashir goes missing and never turns up to their doorstep.
Back to present, the memories of that warm bond encourage Shalini to visit Kashmir in search of Bashir after her mother’s death.Lot of twists and turns lead to revelation of certain bitter realities to Shalini.
The book is the winner of the prestigious JCB Award for Literature,2019. The first half of the book has beautifully portrayed emotional distress of a young girl in search of parental affection.The book being JCB award winner had built my expectations very high,but it was actually quite a disappointment. The first few chapters draw a different picture about the plot but chapters further are very misleading and the climax is completely different from where it began…far from expectations.
An emotionally confused girl who is searching for a stability finally lands up doing random things and getting indulged with random people…seems too messed up.The only good thing was the narrator’s efforts. However even this couldn’t help much as the book is spread over 40 chapters and at times the plot seems to fall flat thus leaving less scope even for the narrator.
Moreover,I couldn’t connect with the characters at all and this made it difficult for me to finish the book at times.
I would recommend the book to those who are eager to read every award winning book.
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❓QOTD: Have you ever read an award winning book which has disappointed you?
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