Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Book Review: Ours Are The Streets

While roaming about in the market during Christmas, I came across a makeshift book stall in the market. So going by my nature, this can never happen if I can go past any book stall without noticing or grabbing any book.This time, it was 'Ours are the streets' written by 'Sanjeev Sahota'.

Ours are the streets was not a comfortable read and similarly is not easy to review. The book is written with first person perspective. The narrator, Imitiaz, is a Pakistan origin and born in Britain. The story revolves around how he becomes a religious person when he visits Pakistan after the death of his father. He was radicalised there to be a suicide bomber ( though author have not much elaborated the religious part). He keep on avoiding his wife, Rebekah. Much part of the story happens inside the mind of the narrator. The story also describes the difference of moral values between Pakistani origin and British people. Imitiaz 's parents want Rebekah to drop her child that was conceived before her marriage to Imitiaz.

I liked the way author has described the situations and the way he handles different characters while keeping the first person account.He has perfectly captured the mental and emotional thoughts inside the mind of a suicide bomber. The night before he is going to blow himself up, he tells everything to Rebekah. I liked the way how author ended the novel, when Imitiaz started running away from Rebekah and calling his (dead)father, Ammi to be his side.The writer keeps it to readers to guess what may have happen in the end. If Rebekah called the police , tells them everything or Did Imitiaz bombed himself as planned.

However , the way the writer narrated the story was rather complicated.It was difficult to figure who the narrator is addressing. One could only found out it at the first mention of the second person.
Also, it keeps changing suddenly.Sometime, he would be addressing his father and immediately it would change to his wife.Also, two stories run at time, one is the current story about him living in Britain with his wife, other one in which he went to Pakistan, met few persons, get influenced and come back with his cousin.

Above all, it was an engaging story, once started I could not stop to know what is going to happen next.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


The visit to a lesser known place is always a little more enthusiastic that a known place. Probably, the fact the we know something about the known place and have the privilege of some comfort. Last week, I was a part of walk group, which was organized as part of Delhi Walk festival. It was to walk in a lesser known place of Delhi, known as Satpula Lake Complex.

Satpula was a dam which was constructed in 14th century during Tughlak Dynasty and was part of fourth city of Delhi. It was basically used for harvesting and irrigation.The place was very peaceful and quieter than the outer world, given to the fact it is next to traffic cludded road and a mega mall Select City on the other side of the road.Apart from it, there was one newly constructed , but unused, amphitheater.

The walk group roamed about for some time then move forward to the Khirki extension nearby where there is an old mosque, which is known to be a one of its type in the north India.Roaming about in the narrow lanes of the Khirki extension, it felt like to be in another world. Some of the houses had only a cloth in the doorway serving as the main door.

I could not click any photos there as it was dark and my phone kept crying about battery.:(

Friday, November 18, 2016

Book Review: The Weary Generations

Few days ago, while wandering usually, I came across a book shop in Delhi that had put up a sale on old stock. As an admirer of books, I searched through it and got my hands on a novel based on India during 19th and 20th century when we were still under British rule.

The book 'The Weary Generations' is an English translation of an Urdu novel 'Udaas Naslein' written by Abdullah Hussein.It revolves around a character Naim, who after studying at Calcutta(Kalkutta), returns to his village Roshan Pur and helps his father in agriculture.Later during the WWI, he was 
recruited into the army , where during his fight he lost his arm.After coming back to home, he was given a lot of land as bravery award from British Government.However he lost all of it when he was arrested and sent to gaol when he was working for congress for independence.He has a silent on and off relationship with his wife Azra.Naim silent listens to the his step brother Ali's adventures when they moving to other country after partition has been announced. On the way to new country, he is killed.

In the novel, I liked the way writer has explained his characters and all around environment in every event.One can truly imagine the things happening before the eyes with such an explanation. However, I felt for Alisha. There should have been more part for Ali,Rawal and Alisha. I don't know what happened to Alisha and how she died. There was nothing about Ali's second sting in Lahore.

Overall, I am happy about the book and after a long time I found a book that was overwhelming and had a good coverage of historical events during independence movement.