Tuesday, April 8, 2014

#BookReview--> India Was One by an Indian

Title and Author: India Was One by an Indian
Print Length: 368 Pages
Language: English
Publication Date: 2011
Genre: Patriotic, Indian Fiction

My Review:
What will you do if your country is divided into two?
Are we ready to revisit the 1947 era again and be sure of not making the same mistakes this time?
What will you do if your loved ones are divided because of this partition?

India Was One is a story that puts forth these questions and much more for the reader to analyze. Jai and Kahaani lived in India. Although from families both regionally and culturally diverse, they still were Indians. They had the same dreams of success, love, family, happiness etc. They met in college, fell in love, got married and then shifted to the United States to pursue their career.

But this serene and happy bubble of their life bursts when they hear that their beloved country has been partitioned into two and that they both now belong to different countries!
Though they are in the United States, their families are in India. Afraid for their safety and unaware of their current situation, they plan on separating and determining their family's safety by going to their own respective new country.

But planning is one thing and destiny is another. Things don't go as per their plans and Jai and Kahaani are faced with situations that will test every belief that they had and then some more.

India Was One does not fall under a given genre. It is not simply a love story nor a patriotic saga nor a historical. It crosses genres and gives us a glimpse into a situation which though hypothetical is enough to raise some very relevant questions about the current situation in our country.

The cover is creative and intriguing and catches the eye of the reader at first glance. 

The idea is new and plot is admirably executed. The story flows beautifully from a college romance to a married couple's ambition of a successful family to the love and responsibilities of a citizen towards his country to a son's/daughter's love and responsibility towards their parents. The story is nothing extraordinary but it still manages to keep the reader interested and turning pages till the end.

The author has clearly written this book keeping in mind the non Indian readers and so he gives a background on every ethnic thing he uses in his story whether it be a dish, a place or an event. Although this is a good thing to do but including the explanations along with the story flow was sometimes very distracting. I dont like glossaries because then everytime I dont understand something, I have to stop, find that thing in the glossary and check it! But he could have given the explanation at the bottom of the same page by putting a star in front or something. Also the explanations should have been toned down a bit. I felt some explanations too tedious and too long like the story of the highway from Mumbai etc.

The writing style of the author is simple yet captivating and can be polished more with more practice. This is his first work which is very promising. I loved the beautiful sketches he includes in chapters depicting some very varied things which may seem irrelevant but are integral to the story like a lantern, a car, a bungalow, a pair of walky talkies etc.. Basing the chapters on such things is very creative and noteworthy of him.

I wasn't glued to the book and didn't feel any urgency to finish it in one sitting but was duly captivated by the story and felt that this can be read in several sittings. The good thing about it is that it remains with the reader till the next time he resumes reading it further.

A very promising effort on a topic that is both scary and very relevant today, I give India Was One a 4 out of 5 and recommend it to people who want to get a closer look at modern India and also are attracted by the questions this book raises.

I received the book from the author to read and review and I am very thankful to him. The above review is my honest and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.

Buy From:
Amazon.com: Paperback | Kindle Ebook
Amazon.in: Paperback | Kindle Ebook
Flipkart.com: Ebook

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