Tag: thoughts

Book Review: Paper Towns (John Green).

Paper Towns

-John Green.


I loved reading The Fault in Our Stars and Looking For Alaska. This book has been sitting on my shelf for a couple of years now, and finally, I read it. Paper Towns by John Green is a coming of age story set in the senior year of high school. It follows the story of Quentin, nicknamed Q, as he follows clues to try and find his childhood friend and crush Margo Roth Spiegelman.

The story starts with a bit of flashback in a way. Q and Margo are neighbors. They were close as kids, always off on adventures when one day they come across a dead body while cycling. The story moves to the present day, where Q and Margo are in their senior year of high school. Q is fascinated by Margo, romantically interested in her, but they have drifted apart over the years. One night, Q is awoken by a knock on his window, and it is Margo. The rest of the night is filled with shenanigans and adventures; it’s the most amount of time the two have spent together in years.


The next morning Q wakes up to find Margo gone. She has run away from home. It is not the first time she has done this, and she always leaves behind clues. This time the clues are for Q, and he is determined to find Margo. The rest of the story follows his search for Margo, trying to understand the clues she left for him. The plot then follows Q’s efforts to figure out where Margo went with the help of his friends. Quentin’s two best friends are Ben and Radar. Q tells them about Margo, and they immediately decide to help him. Lacey is Margo’s friend who, Margo thinks betrayed her, but she also joins the guys to find Margo.


Margo is such an enigmatic character. She seems to have everything, be anything she wants to be, but as the story progresses the layers are peeled off. Q realizes that he had an idea in his head about who Margo was, but he didn’t really know her. The friendship between Q, Radar, and Ben is so realistic and funny. Ben and Radar are supportive of Q understanding why the driving forces behind his quest. Ben can be a bit dramatic but it didn’t bother me much. They try to get him to enjoy the present, their last year in high school together instead of always worrying about Margo. This story is Q’s journey. He discovers himself. Like any other John Green works, the metaphors in this book are beautiful.


The story is a combination of comedy, heartfelt moments, and mystery. The way the story is written kept me hooked. I wanted to know the mystery that was Margo. The sense of identity is a constant theme that plays throughout the story. Each character has a different interpretation about who and what Margo is while no one knows her. It feels like Margo is an idea than an actual character. Q is worried about her and at one point is seriously concerned for her well-being. Her clues at times seem vague, and even the gang has trouble figuring them out.

This is a YA novel, but it is cleverly written. Q is such a relatable character. He is a little lost, especially in the beginning and everyone can relate to feeling lost at some point or the other. This story is more about the journey than the destination. We find out what happens to Margo in the end, and I thought it was worth it. Margo and Q have a conversation when he finds her that helps change his perspective; making his journey seem worthwhile. This book is thoughtful, philosophical, emotional, and funny. I loved reading this book.

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Book Review: A Pair of Silk Stockings (Short Story by Kate Chopin).

A Pair of Silk Stockings

– Kate Chopin.

I have never read anything written by Kate Chopin. I always wanted to read her works, so I thought reading this short story will be a good introduction. A Pair of Silk Stockings is the story about Mrs. Sommers, who finds herself with extra money and can’t decide whether to indulge herself or her family. The story begins with Mrs. Sommers finding fifteen dollars in her possession. She is overjoyed by the extra money and plans on how she will get a few things for her family that she was putting off due to budget constraints.

Mrs. Sommers makes a list mentally to go shopping the next day and buy new slightly fancy clothes for her kids. The next day when she is in the shop, she is unable to spend the money as she had previously planned. She finds a beautiful pair of silk stockings on discount, seeing that it is on a discount she buys that pair for herself. Buying this pair of stockings leads to an indulgent day for Mrs. Sommers. She is completely family-oriented. She thinks about her kids, and the household needs most of the time, being responsible for even the smallest thing they might need. In the beginning, when she gets the money, her first thoughts are about getting things for her kids and household.

 Once she buys that pair of stockings, she does something just for herself and likes how liberating that feels. This leads to a day of indulgent spending on herself though at the back of her mind she feels guilty about spending money just on herself. There are also underlying instances regarding bias based on social class. Mrs. Sommers feels a sense of belonging after her purchases and feels like a different person with the fancy things she bought. She feels confident about herself and notices the change in the way people perceive her when she has fancy things. Mrs. Sommers as a character also reinforces the kind of gender roles that were in place in those times. Her identity, behavior everything is in accordance with her family and not really her own. The way she behaves, and carries out her responsibilities, is all that is expected of her as a woman.

The main theme of the story I feel focused on consumerism as a means to escape. Mrs. Sommers lives a normal ordinary life that is focused on her as a mother and a wife. Buying those stockings, spending money on herself makes her feel special; it is an escape from her reality, but it is for a short time. Once she starts indulging, she buys a few other things, and then she has lunch at a fancy place; it gives her the illusion that life is different for a few moments. Towards the end, when it’s time for her to go back home, she feels like a dream ended. The escape through consumerism is limited to a few hours before she has to go to her real life.

The story is narrated and written very well. As a reader, you can relate to Mrs. Sommers as a character though I did some reading regarding the historical context of the story about the period it was written in that helped me better understand the story. I enjoyed reading this short story. It makes its point in a subtle and not so subtle way at times, but it stays engaging throughout.

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*Quote image taken from bing.com

Currently Reading (January ’21)

My reading list for this month.

  1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is a classic novel. This is a passionate love story of Catherine and Heathcliff. I have just started reading this book, and the descriptions are written beautifully. It sets an entirely different landscape and atmosphere from the start adding to its gothic element. The timeline is a little confusing in the beginning, but I hope it’ll get better as the story progresses.

2. Paper Towns by John Green.

I loved reading The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska. I hope I’ll feel the same about Paper Towns. This coming of age story is about Quentin nicknamed Q, and his neighbor and crush for years, Margo Roth Spiegelman. Margo and Q aren’t close friends anymore as they were when they were kids. One night Margo knocks on Q’s window after years. They spend that night doing all sorts of shenanigans, and the next morning Margo disappears. It is going well so far so, fingers crossed.

3. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

I wanted to finish this book in December itself. As you can see, that didn’t happen. Hopefully, I will be able to finish it this month. This story is based on Vonnegut’s experience as a POW during World War II in Dresden is an intriguing story. I am a few chapters in, but it can be too heavy at times. I can’t read this book for hours.

4. A Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin.

I have this short story in my 50 greatest short stories book. I have been meaning to read something written by Kate Chopin for years, and I thought starting with this short story might be a good idea. The story revolves around Mrs. Sommers, who decides to indulge herself for a day by spending money.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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Books I read in 2020: My Favorites.

I read quite a lot of books this year. There were a few hit and misses, but I read some of the best books. I loved reading these books; here are my favorites-

  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

I loved reading this book. The characters of Jane and Mr. Rochester have a beautiful love story though it falls in somewhat of a grey area at times. The way the book is written is engaging, and the story moves forward at a good pace. It keeps you hooked.

  1. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams.

This play was simply amazing. The story and the characters were something different entirely. It has a gritty and dark element to the story which are subtly woven throughout the plot. Once I started reading this play, it was difficult to put it down. The story strikes a nerve with the reader in an unexpected way. It is one of the best plays I have ever read.

  1. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelley.

Another story set during World War II, follows three women, Caroline, Kasia, and Herta. This novel is based around true events but with the inclusion of a few fictional characters. It was difficult to read the book sometimes because it gets very heavy. In the end, it is worth it. It is a heartbreaking and inspiring story, written beautifully with amazing characters at the helm.

  1. 1984 by George Orwell.

Reading 1984 was kind of like an eye-opening experience for me. The world George Orwell created is messed up and dystopian yet some aspects of it are now a part of our lives. The way the story is narrated keeps you on edge waiting for something to happen. It is a must-read.

  1. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.

One of the best dystopian fiction books I have read. Never Let Me Go for me was surprisingly emotional as well as disturbing. I couldn’t predict what was going to happen and though it gets heavy in its subject it remains engaging. The novel is dystopian has a grounded setting; it resembles the world we know with slight differences. It is a book everyone should read at least once.

  1. We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter.

We Were the Lucky Ones is a historical novel set during World War II. It is a true story of the Kurc family. It is beautifully written with different family members acting as a narrator that gives a complete sense of the harrowing times. It is an emotionally heavy read yet the ending has a hopeful tone to it.

  1. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.

A Fine Balance is set in India during the 1975 Emergency period. Mistry, through four characters from different backgrounds, shows the effect this period had on people. The bond these people form and the trials they face individually adds intensity to the story. The novel is long but it never gets dull. It focuses on the characters and the effect on their lives instead of getting political.

  1. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult.

I read this book just last month. It is really sad and heartbreaking. I enjoyed the way the story is told by using major characters as narrators. This gave me insight into situations from varied perspectives which are necessary for a story where there is no way of knowing what exactly is right or wrong. It’s a beautiful family story.

  1. Perfect Regret by A. Meredith Walters.

This is one of my favorite love stories I have read in recent times. Garrett and Riley seem to have nothing in common yet they have a level of understanding between each other. The concerns Riley has about Garrett seem justified enough though she can be a bit harsh sometimes. Their bond develops slowly and steadily which I liked. The characters feel real and grounded. It was such an enjoyable read.

  1. Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught.

Almost Heaven is a historical romance. The story follows Ian and Elizabeth’s love story. Their love story is passionate, adventurous, and dramatic. I had fun reading this book. I finished it over one weekend because I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. I felt immersed in Elizabeth and Ian’s love story.

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Book Review: Snows of Kilimanjaro (Ernest Hemingway).

Snows of Kilimanjaro

– Ernest Hemingway


Snows of Kilimanjaro is a short story written by Ernest Hemingway. The story focuses on Harry, a writer, who is unwell and is reflecting on his life while waiting to die. The story gives us insight into Harry’s life and the events which brought him to this point.

The story of Snows of Kilimanjaro begins with Harry and his wife being stuck in Africa while on a safari. Harry has gangrene; he and his wife are waiting for the rescue plane to show up. Harry didn’t apply iodine to his cut that then became infected. In the beginning, Harry keeps drinking and insults Helen, who is just trying to help him. He knows that he isn’t going to survive till the rescue plane gets there.


The focus shifts from the present to the past. Throughout the story, there are a series of flashbacks that focus on different times and situations of Harry’s life. Helen is a rich woman, and Harry has been living off his wife’s money. This trip to Africa was supposed to be his fresh start. He has spent too much time in the past procrastinating, drinking, and indulging in materialistic pleasures. Now he keeps regretting the things he wanted to do but didn’t. It is difficult to understand Harry at the start of the story; he seems rude and spoiled. As the flashbacks started, you get an insight into his character and understand him a little better.


The themes of death and regret plays a huge part in this story. Harry’s gangrene is caused by a scratch of a thorn that he didn’t disinfect. The flashback shows his experiences with mortality when he was a soldier in WW1 and got injured during a German bombing. He also keeps thinking about his writing career; it will end with him. I think he worries about the kind of legacy he is leaving behind both as a person and as a writer. His impending death makes him regret some life choices he made. In a way, it takes Harry to be on his death bed to think about all the wasted opportunities that are weighing heavily on him now.


The nature surrounding Harry and Helen has parallels with what is happening to Harry. The way Hemingway describes these parallels; you are never taken out of the story. The memories that flood Harry when he awaits his death are overwhelming to him. He reflects on events and behavior he hasn’t thought about in years. Everything is coming back to him, and in a sense, that is bringing regret with it. His wife, Helen, tries to be a reasonable voice, telling him that he will get help, and he will be okay. Harry treats with contempt at times maybe, even trying to blame his regrets about life on her.

Snows of Kilimanjaro is a very interesting story. The narration shifting from present to the past gives a unique perspective into Harry’s life that makes it easier to understand the man he is now. The descriptions and atmosphere of the story paints a vivid picture; it is well written. The darker themes about death and regret are dealt with a subtlety. I enjoyed reading this story.

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Book Review: The Snowman (Jo Nesbo).

The Snowman

-Jo Nesbo


The Snowman by Jo Nesbo is the seventh book in his Detective Harry Hole series. I didn’t read the other ones, but it didn’t make any difference to me. I read it as a standalone novel, and it worked. The book follows Detective Harry Hole as he chases down a serial killer. The setting of the book is Oslo, Norway, during the winter season in the early 2000’s.

The Snowman begins with a flashback when a teen boy is asked to wait in the car by his mother as she meets her lover in midst of a snowfall. After that, the story shifts to 2004 and once in a while goes back to flashbacks. Harry Hole is a definition of a functioning alcoholic but he is a very good detective. He has been trained by the FBI to find serial killers because such crimes are very low in Norway. A strange case about a disappearance regarding the mother of a young boy named Jonas is connected to several such disappearances through the years.


Harry is introduced to his new partner Katrine Bratt. She is alluring, quick, and intelligent; they get along well from the start. Katrine seems mysterious at times. Harry and Katrine are similar to each other and have mutual respect. Harry is living alone after his breakup with girlfriend Rakel and her son Oleg. She is now in a new relationship with Mathias who works in the Anatomy department. She still is a part of Harry’s life, and Harry is like a father figure for Oleg. He has lost two partners before Katrine. He is broody, drunk, and to some extent is beaten down by his experiences.


Harry tries to catch the killer dubbed as The Snowman; the killer builds a snowman near the victim’s house that faces the house instead of the street. This killer changes his patterns frequently, and apart from the Snowman at the homes of the victims, there isn’t much in terms of evidence. Finally, they seem to be getting close, but all hell breaks loose when they realize that Katrine might be Snowman. She is captured and admitted to a psychiatric ward. All evidence is against her, but when one more body shows is found, Harry starts to doubt whether Katrine is the real killer or not.


The descriptions of Oslo through Harry’s eyes give the readers an insight into a new country and its culture. The way the novel is written, you are transported to a different place. The atmosphere of the story reminded me of a little of gothic novels where the atmospheres are part of the plot. Harry’s character is not perfect by any means, but he always tries to do his best, and he is an extremely good detective. He has a drinking problem that he tries to keep under check, he is impulsive and gets frustrated easily at times, but he is still likable.


The book is dark, gritty, and eerie almost from the beginning. I think after reading this book seeing a snowman might freak me out a little bit. The pace of the novel is good throughout, but as it gets close to the ending, especially after Katrine is suspected of being the Snowman, the suspense goes up a notch. The identity of the killer came as a surprise to me. There is a chapter which is from the killer’s point of view that gives insight into his mind, and it is creepy. The killer has issues with women that stem from his mother’s dishonesty.


The book has its thrills and suspense. It is much darker than I had anticipated, even in terms of characters, not just story-wise. I have never read anything written by author Jo Nesbo before, his writing is descriptive, and there is a lot of attention to detail. The characters are interesting, and so is the plot. It never becomes predictable. I liked reading this book; it is a perfect suspenseful read.

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Book Review: Angel of the Dark (Sidney Sheldon and Tilly Bagshawe).

Angel of the Dark

-Sidney Sheldon and Tilly Bagshawe.


Angel of the Dark by Sidney Sheldon and Tilly Bagshawe is a thriller novel. It focuses on a series of murders in which the rich older husband violently murdered, and his young wife is brutally raped but left alive. The story spans a few years and different continents as the narration jumps from one timeline to the next.

The story begins in 1996 in Los Angeles when Andrew Jakes, a millionaire, is murdered, and his wife is found alive but badly beaten and raped. Detective Danny McGuire is in charge of the case. He has no promising leads or suspects except the witness, Angela Jakes, the wife. She disappears overnight before the case is officially closed, and all the money she inherited from her husband is donated to children’s charities. 9 years later, Danny is working in Interpol at Lyon, France. The Andrew Jakes’s murder still haunts him, and it is one of the reasons he leaves America.


Danny is contacted by a writer Matt Daley who is persistent about talking to him. Matt Daley, his mom, and his sister were abandoned by Andrew Jakes when Matt was still a baby, and he hadn’t seen him since then. Matt Daley is intrigued by his biological father’s mother and decides to make a documentary about him. Matt is the one who finds the other similar murders where wealthy older husbands were murdered and their wives raped but alive. The wives disappeared soon after donating all the money to charities.


The narration shifts a lot as all characters have a point of view. In the beginning, it was a little confusing, but then it started making sense. The story has a good pace, and the plot is thrilling and mysterious. The intensity level is amped up as the story moves ahead. Sofia Basta is the wife of all victims and has been an accomplice to the murders with Francis Mancini. One thing that slightly bothered me was that the male characters are immediately infatuated with Sofia Basta throughout the book that is almost borderline obsessive. Since childhood, Sofia has faced unwanted advances and assaults. She is a victim too sure, I agree, but the ending for her doesn’t seem appropriate.

The last few chapters started to get predictable. I still wanted to know how things turned out the way they did. Matt’s obsession with Lisa, one of Sofia’s identities, is a little unrealistic. They knew each other for a few weeks and fell in love. The faith he has in her despite evidence proving otherwise at times was illogical. Sofia and Francis both had a rough childhood and ended up in the same children’s home in New York. Sofia has never known safe, but she feels safe with Matt. The tragic love story of Miriam, the Moroccan Princess, seemed random when I read it, but its importance to Sofia is unraveled later on.


The thrill, the romance, and some psychological elements in the mix; it makes an interesting read. The writing style and the pacing of the story were good, and it never felt dull. The only problem for me was that after a certain point, I could guess where it was going. Overall, I liked reading this book. I am not much of a thriller reader, but this book is a good one-time read.

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Currently Reading (October ’20).

Currently Reading (October ’20)

My reading list for this month.

  1. Angel of the Dark by Sidney Sheldon and Tilly Bagshawe.

I have read any books by Sidney Sheldon before so, this will be a first. It is not written by Sheldon, but it is based on his extensive notes. Angel of the Dark is a thriller tale, surprising and suspenseful. I am only a couple of chapters in, and it seems promising and mysterious. I like it so far. Serial killer stories are fascinating if done well.

2. The Snowman by Jo Nesbo.

I have picked another suspense/thriller book. The Snowman by Jo Nesbo is a Norwegian novel that is 7th in the Harry Hole series. I haven’t read any of the other books. Hopefully, that won’t be an issue. It focuses on detective Harry Hole as he tries to catch a serial killer. I randomly downloaded this book after reading the description and haven’t started it properly yet. It has an intriguing premise and seems focused on darker aspects too.

3. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K.Rowling, Jack Thorne & John Tiffany.

This play is based on the original story of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Rowling, Thorne, and Tiffany. The book focuses on Harry’s son, Albus, and the weight he feels about living up to the family legacy. Reading this is nostalgic; it a familiar world. I am only a few chapters in, but so far so good. The way the story progressed is surprising yet not uncharacteristic.  

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Book Review: 1984 (George Orwell).

1984

-George Orwell.


The last time I started reading this book, I left it incomplete. Now, I finally finished reading it, and in retrospect, I can’t remember why I left it back then in the first place. 1984 is a dystopian novel by George Orwell. It was published in 1949, and mainly, it is a political book about the post-war world.

The book is set in the future, in 1984. The geography of this world is different from ours with three superpowers – Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. These states are constantly in war with each other. Oceania is ruled by a political group simply known as The Party. Apart from the inner members and outer circle members of the party, everyone else is proles, who live in poverty and mostly ignored. The people here live under constant surveillance, conform to rules, and pledge complete loyalty to Big Brother (Head of The Party).


Winston Smith is a member of the outer party who works in the Ministry of Truth. He is a talented writer, but his job is to edit news articles to fit the ideals of the Party. Winston is the protagonist of the story and we see his world through his eyes. He is often described as frail and quiet, but he is curious and introspective. Winston starts maintaining a diary in which he writes his true thoughts about the world he lives in, which is a punishable offense. He imagines he is writing it for an inner member who is secretly against The Party, named O’Brien. Winston has an affair with Julia; their desire for each other is also like a rebellion.


This book is a commentary against communism because Orwell was worried about Stalin’s USSR and how other countries were turning a blind eye to it. The atmosphere created in the book where the Party doesn’t want people to have any individuality, and the focus is on collective identity. There is a branch called the Thought Police, who keeps an eye out for people who think in unorthodox ways or might rebel. These people are taken away by the Thought Police for committing thoughtcrimes.


This book was written more than 70 years ago, yet it is significant even today. The constant surveillance of people in the story is eerie, but it is also a concept we can relate to in our society. There is a reality that has been created and controlled by the Party. The rewriting of history to show how things are better under their rule, news that is edited to match Party ideologies; it is like a propaganda machine shaping your reality. As you read, you realize the political connotations throughout the story, and it is reminiscent of the Soviet Union and Nazi era.


There are many aspects of the story that surprised me. Winston and Julia are meeting in secret. They start going to a room above a shop where Winston bought the diary. Winston believes that proles are their only hope for a revolution against the Party. The lovers are practically led to a trap by the people they trusted who turned out to be members of the Thought Police. Desire, love, and loyalty should only be for The Party and the Big Brother which Winston accepts at the end.


Some aspects of the book are disturbingly similar to our reality. The surveillance of people, certain specific narratives of history or narratives by the media, and even the propagandas to some extent. These are the concepts that are familiar to us today though not to the level shown in the story. Political undertones are throughout the story, and it is a known fact that George Orwell was against totalitarian and communist ideologies. It took some time for me to get into the story especially at the beginning. Once the setting and the world of the story was established; it changed the pace of the plot. The story is told from a third-person omnipresent narrative, but the focus in on Winston. The character of Winston is introspective, so that helped me understand the gravity of the situation.


I don’t know I kept the book aside that first time because 1984 is a wonderful book. I wasn’t sure about it when I started reading it, but it gets interesting, and then you can’t wait to find out what happens next. It gets a little disturbing and heavy, but that adds to the plot. It has relevance in today’s world, and in a way, it is eye-opening. It is a must read.

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Book Review: A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry).

A Fine Balance

-Rohinton Mistry.


A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry is set in an unnamed city of India during the period of The Emergency (1975 – 1976). This is the first novel by Rohinton Mistry that I have read. It is a long novel and complicated in terms of its plot, so I don’t think I will be able to summarize it here properly. I’ll try my best to explain the story.

The story focuses on four main characters – Dina, Ishwar, and Omprakash, who are uncle and nephew, and Maneck. The four characters come from different social settings. Dina was born in a well to do family, but after her father’s death, her older mother took her in because her mother was unable to provide for her. Dina’s older brother mistreated her regularly treating her like a burden. She rebels against him when she marries Rustom Dalal and they are happy together until Rustom dies in a car crash three years later.


Dina is determined and spirited enough to fight against the odds. This time she doesn’t want to be a burden to anyone and make her own way by starting her tailoring business. Ishwar and Omprakash are the tailors Dina hires to work for since her eyesight isn’t the best. Ishwar and Omprakash have fled their village to escape from caste violence against them. They want a fresh start in the city, and they get jobs as tailors for Dina. Surprisingly, they meet Maneck, a student from an idyllic hill station who rents a room as a boarder at Dina’s house later on. Maneck’s friend disappeared without a trace which still weighs on him and is the reason he moves away from his college campus housing. Their lives converge with each other, and in times of unrest, they form a solid understanding among each other.

A Fine Balance can’t exactly be classified as a political novel, but the Emergency period setting makes in an underlying theme. The characters come from different backgrounds so, the experience of each of them during this time differs from one another. This gave an insight into a period of unrest and crises from four perspectives which make the story is so realistic. Rohinton Mistry’s writing perfectly captures the essence of Indian culture in terms of his descriptions, and it transports you to those places and time. It touches on practices like the sterilizations, mass detentions, caste, and religious discriminations which were carried out during this time regularly.


The story takes a much darker turn and the true extent of the Government’s practices are exposed. It is hard to read through those parts. The freedoms citizens get that we take for granted; the story shows how horrific and anarchic it can get if these rights are taken away. For each character, the effect of the Emergency varies. Ishwar and Omprakash live in slums which are targeted areas for sterilization and labor camps. It is eluded that Maneck’s friend was an activist, and he was detained by the Government because he opposed, and nothing was heard of him again. Dina’s landlord constantly threatens her with eviction using thugs to do his dirty work.


I was unaware of the intensity and the extent of the effects on people’s lives at this time in the history of the country. The story is grounded, and at any point, doesn’t seem forced or unrealistic. The novel is pretty lengthy, but it is engaging throughout and doesn’t feel dragged on. I liked reading this book though, at times, it got too heavy. It is not something I’ll pick up again anytime soon, but it is one of the best books I have read. It is a must-read.

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