Thursday, October 9, 2014

Barsa by Khadeeja Mumtaaz

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Khadeeja Mumtaaz is a medical doctor by profession. Barsa is her second novel and has won many awards including Kerala Sahitya Academy award.

The book deals with the experiences of Dr. Sabitha in Saudi Arabia. Sabitha has recently converted to Islam after her marriage. She and her husband have reached the holy city of Mecca as doctors on contract. The rest of the book describes Sabitha's experiences in Saudi Arabia as a Muslim woman. Sabitha, whose familiarity with Islam before has only been in a more tolerant society of a Kerala village, is sometimes shocked by the extremely conservative way in which people, especially women, are treated in that country. She sees how the religion is misinterpreted by the more powerful to suit their needs.

Barsa is indeed a well-researched book which talks about a relevant issue. The novelist deserves much praise for treating a much sensitive issue with commendable control and concern.

I recommend it to everyone, 4 out of 5.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan

Anuja Chauhan had a very successful debut novel. Those Pricey Thakur Girls is her third novel.

The story is about five alphabetically named Thakur sisters, with the fourth of them, Debjani Thakur, being the central protagonist. The novel is set in 80's, the pre-liberalization era. Debjani has just landed a job as a news reader in DD. Soon she meets Dylan, the journalist. Well the rest of the book goes to this "He loves me, he loves me not,..." loop, with dollops of family drama, teenage perplexities,  (facts and fiction about) Sikh riots,etc. thrown in. No prizes for guessing what happens in the end...!!!

After reading the Zoya Factor, I didn't think much before buying this novel. But I may not buy another book by Ms. Chauhan, I may rent it though.

2.5 out of 5.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Manushyanu oru aamukham by Subhash Chandran

And I am back!!!

This blog has been inactive for a long time now but I sincerely promise I will be regular in the future!

But I am happy that I am coming back with the best book that I have read this year. And that too a malayalam novel.

Subhash Chandran is a young Malayalam writer and Manushyanu oru Aamukham is his first novel. I don't follow modern Malayalam literature very keenly but I can confidently say that this is one of the best Malayalam novels that have come out in recent times.

The novel describes the life of three generations of a family, Ayyattumpilly, as a prelude to the life of the main protagonist, Jithendran. All the characters in the novel are realistic and well-carved. Any of them can be seen in a large joint family in Kerala. Through them, the novelist also describes the changes that happened in the Malayali society over the years.

Certainly, a near perfect novel and hence a near perfect score, 4.9 out of 5.

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