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Friday, January 31, 2014

Book Review : ‘India Was One’ by An Indian

India was One’, a story by an Indian is all I ever found out about this tale. I had no idea, who the author was. The essence of this odd story is that it comes to me, at a rather weird time, personally. Because I am Indian and I live in Andhra Pradesh, too. Hyderabad, a city where I have lived is now kind of figuring it out if it belongs to AP or Telangana. So, I guess this story has a meaning for me too.

Well, let’s start from the beginning. The story begins with Jai, the protagonist, who is in college. Girl comes into the picture, they meet and they get married. Of course, we should not miss the friends, the parental support and of course, there’s cricket and Sachin, as well. All very convenient and nice. One cannot miss the links to the different states of India. Almost everyone is from a different state, and the author puts in brief notes, with a little about the places they are from. Then, we follow him and his wife to Rajasthan, where again we have details and notes about the state. 

After that, we fly to the US where Jai has to work. He moves in to a nice place with his wife, and we are introduced to the country, its states, its geography, its roads and its sports. Friends, families and earthquakes are all a part of Jai and Kahani’s life in the USA. A trip to Europe as well, for a holiday! What is interesting is the artwork and descriptions of the new countries. It is a good guide if you plan to visit or live in the US. And visit Rajasthan and Europe. Not comprehensive but a very well- written guide.

As we settle into the US again, Thanksgiving and all, we are suddenly jolted awake thanks to India splitting into two. We have the North India and the South India. It is a strange kind of a division, but which is not? :) So, we have the hero in South India and the heroine in North India.

Communication is shut, so there go the phones, the television and the internet. So, both of them head to India, heroine to Ahmedabad and the hero to Mumbai. Luckily, for the two of them, both their places are intact and safe. Jai reaches Mumbai to discover that his parents are safe and at home and her parents are in Mumbai, as well. Kahani has reached Ahmedabad only to notice that her parents are not.

The army is the only organisation, which seems to be in place since it is the only body, which is keeping the peace, in spite of the civil war. Mumbai is suddenly, attacked by Pakistani terrorists and the famous Taj hotel is taken over by them. What happens when the army intervenes? How the husband and wife who are separated get back together form the rest of this story.

While I read the whole thing in a day, what kept me going was the interest which the author manages to raise. India, America and Europe are described wonderfully well. Though there are no words of beauty, but I would still look up on this book, as a guide to living abroad. It is an honest book, and though the story itself is not gripping, or suspenseful it still manages to hold on and stay with you till the end.

Though there are times when I thought that the plot was a little too simplistic, I could understand why the author was choosing certain twists to make his point. It would take a varied lot of people who can adapt to the story and truly understand it. But to some, it might mean nothing at all.

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