Tuesday 27 May 2014

Book Review: Love across borders - Stories of love, connection, and friendship that transcend the physical divide

Source: Google Images
Cover: Beautiful. The sand depicts the deserts that our countries have in common.
Pages: 109 with adjustable font since the book is available only as an ebook.
Language: English, clear and lucid narration
Price: Rs.184
Publisher: Indireads
Quality: Very Good
Flow: It’s different for different stories, but overall a smooth flow.

Compiled by Naheed Hassan and Sabahat Muhammad, the book contains tales of love, connections, and relationships across the Indian –pakistan border. Every story tugs at the heartstrings in one way or the other, and aims at reviving the days of that shared past, shared history and shared territory. The stories by the Indireads authors, aim for a better tomorrow bringing about a conscious effort to empathize with emotions and sensibilities of people on both sides of the great divide, and understand sentiments beyond the borders. Words here are aimed to create that vision, bring about a change- in both perceptions and perspectives.
That 70’s Babe’ by Mamun M. Adil talks of unrequited love and how we pretend to move on in life while pining for the days past, harboring a certain wish, secretly.
Serendipity’ by Yamini Vasudevan tells a tryst of love through the story of Neha, who dares to ignore the politics and dreams of love beyond the borders. The story within story is what we root for in our lives.
One Stupid Commment’ by Shuchi Kalra and Sabahat Muhammad takes on a journey with Aryan and Jahaan in their world of post nuclear disaster. As a peace negotiation of their respective tribes goes on, fate has them abandoned in a desert with no way to return. They learn to trust each other, ignoring the fact that their tribes have been enemies over a century. But, will peace finally prevail?
Anjum’ by Andy Paula is a very warm tale about Vandana’s friendship with Anjum, and how Anjum by her simplicity and good nature broadens Vandana’s perspective of things, brings her out of her preset notions, and opens her up to be able to accept help from others and give in return. From ‘gupshups’ over ‘chai’ to parting for years together, to finally reuniting with their larger-than-before happy families, this is one must read tale on friendship, and is one of my favorite in the collection.
Dressed to Kill’ by Parul Tyagi takes us through the experience of two brides-to-be from either side of the border. When they try their dream wedding dresses, the custom made lehengas; the anticipation and excitement is the same for both, which goes on to be sheer joy for one and heartbreak for the other.
Best Friends Forever’ by Naheed Hassan and Shweta Ganesh Kumar narrates about a love of friends across the borders who lost contact with each other owing to family, transfers, and lack of proper means of communication. When Tara finds her once best friend Saira in Facebook, she is thrilled, but after exchanging some messages she realizes that things had changed. Separated by distances and so many other things, were they still the friends that they used to be? Or had time and fate affected it?
Lost and Found’ by Nidhi Shendurnikar Tere: Dilip, now retired, fondly reminisces his college days in US with his friend from Pakistan, Pervez. South Asians being a rarity in college, both homesick young men were each other’s solace in the foreign land, even at the time of war of 1971. Now with all the time in the world, Dilip tries to find this friend, once lost to social and family pressures, through social networking sites.
Twelve Months’ by Pervin Saket explores and tries to understand the boundaries that we consciously or unconsciously draw around ourselves, through Munira, a widow who visits India at least once a year to relive the days spent with her husband.
An Unlikely Romeo’ by M.M.George narrates Nafisa’s tale of marriage and divorce in foreign land and finding, if not love then at least a sense of belonging in the Indian Romeo.
The Long Interval’ by Zaffar Junejo ‘: Not every love story of younger years materializes to marriage. Suresh had also kept his love for Kavita a secret till he found her again through his grandson Ratu, in Facebook. A sweet story.
The Old Willow’ by Adiana Ray is all about Indian and Pakistani camaraderie and ‘Remnants of a Rainy Day’ by Mamun M. Adil delves into the shadows of yesterday. My rating- 5/5

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