06 Nov NOT SUCH “An Isolated Incident” @SoniahKamal
The name Isolated Incident is just so simple a name for something that is not so isolated at all. It is not just that the book talks of how insurgency and terrorism has affected lives but how anywhere in the book no one is accused and never points fingers.
Just the desolation and depression, mind numbing sadness that follows and these incidents that are not just for Kashmir, but so many more parts of the world are affected.
No, it is not an Isolated Incident but it sure does talk of isolation of a lot of people.
Zari is just a girl, a simple fun loving just engaged girl and suddenly her world crashes around her overnight. Facing the cruel odds dealt to her, she manages to survive but to survive is the last thing on her mind.
A poignant tale…..I have read these words so many times yet they are inadequate in describing the devastation & desolation Zari faces. Not losing her family but her whole way of life too. She and her suitcase travel across seas to find solace and begin anew but and the journey may just be her undoing.
The praise the book is garnering from all over is quite justified. I wanted to read the book as the desperate future Kashmir faces troubles me, our very own crown, the Taj of India is being tarnished by selfish, intolerant bigots. The book sheds a whole new light on the suffering of the residents, the people who want to live there, and who had a life there.
The only thing I found a bit surreal was the stint Billy had in Afghanistan and Pakistan as he had it a bit too easy in the land of mercenaries with bombs and shelling and cut throats. He gets in and out of there so smoothly; I am surprised the immigration guys did not grill him for a few weeks on arrival!!
This book is not a reminder of the wrongs going on in Kashmir but talks of how life goes on for those who have suffered. Pain makes us stronger and even though we suffer loss, it takes us towards new directions.
Soniah Kamal has written the pain, anguish and desperation of Zari and Billy with such ease that it feels the characters of the book are themselves talking. The sorrow and helplessness expressed or the understanding and love they find.
How the families are affected or how they react, the handling of all aspects of violence is done with a lot of care and I am very impressed with the delicate way Soniah had balanced it and stopped it from being just another story of violence and abuse. Many times I had to put down the book just to absorb all the emotion spilling out, collect myself and read ahead hoping for Zari, wishing for Zari.
A deeply introspective story written with love meant to spread love and hope, faith that every little positive step matters. A good read, indeed!
[I received a copy of this book from Fingerprint Publishing for a review. The content of the review are my own unbiased view.]
Zari Zoon, a vivacious girl from Kashmir, is looking forward to marrying her fiance when tragedy strikes. Next thing she know, she is on a plane to America to stay with distant relatives who have offered to give her a temporary home to help her stitch back the tatters of her life.
Billy Nabi, fiercely tender-hearted, longs to help Zari but the choices he makes will jeopardise them all.
An Isolated Incident is a story of haunting memories and yearnings of a home lost, of a faith continuously tested and questioned and of a love that blossoms against all odds.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Soniah Kamal was born in Karachi and grew up in London-Jeddah-Lahore and resides in the US where she has called myriad States home. At present she lives in Georgia where Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone with the Wind, Flannery O’ Connor kept pet peacocks and Alice Walker set The Color Purple.
Soniah has a BA in Philosophy from St. John’s College where she received the Susan B. Irene Award and is earning an MFA from Georgia State University where she is the 2014 Paul Bowles Fellow in Fiction. Soniah’s work is published or forthcoming in the Rumpus, Huffington Post, xoJane, Bengal Lights, Sugar Mule, various anthologies and more. She enjoys long strolls around koi ponds, doodling forests of curlicues.
She cannot resist the drumbeat of a dhol and her talisman is a globe in any shape of size. Her favorite activity is time traveling through books. Soniah has shared her life with a sandy dog, a silky cat, two ginuea pigs, one long haired and one short haired, frogs as big as thumbnails, and a multitude of budgies and betta fish red, blue, green and yellow.
Website : http://www.soniahkamal.com
twitter username : soniahkamal