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Thursday, 27 June 2019

Snakes in the Meadows - Book Review

Snakes in the Meadows by Ayaz Kohli is an interesting read for sure. It deals with Kashmir, the paradise that has been burning for many decades. The story describes the plight of ordinary Kashmiris. Both the military and militants have disappointed them.

The book has some beautiful lines. Here are a few samples.
But my mother told that marriage is never an individual's choice. It is an arrangement to strengthen communal bonds. In our society the collective will prevails over individual aspirations.
When the heroine's womb is removed she says, 'No worries sister, in the part of the world where I come from, no mother would like to bear any children.'

Unfortunately there are many typographical errors in this book. On page 147 the word dictated is typed as dicated. On page 190 in the following line he is wrongly mentioned as we.
Later that night, when Lucy was gently snoring, Himanshu wondered how we would tell Pinky about his love. On page 224 it is written Alexander was deeply aggrieved by his horse's death. He decided to move back to Babylon. From the context is it is clear that Alexander was grieved and not aggrieved. I wonder how these errors escaped the eyes of the editor of a leading publisher like Rupa.

Another problem with the book is that there are too many characters. Their names are confusing. You often get confused as to the characters and their relationships inter se. The first fifty pages of the book are tad boring. It is stuffed with so many characters that you wonder who is the protagonist of this story. The plot catches speed thereafter and holds your attention. It is this part of the book that is immensely entertaining. But again the last fifty pages which carry an unrealistic climax disappointed me.

Yet writing a complex book like this is commendable task in itself. The author deserves to be congratulated for giving us a sneak peek into the lives of Kashmiris. This book is one time read for sure.

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