Tears of Jhelum by Anita Krishan

Kashmir has seen long years of strife and turmoil, and Wali Mohammad Khan has been a silent witness to it all. The violence that terrorism unleashed in the Valley was every bit as senseless as the men who propagated it with manic intensity, but Wali managed to create a seemingly normal life for himself and his family within the protective walls of his home, naïvely believing that the madness beyond would never touch them. But Wali’s illusions get shattered when a ghost from his past returns to bring the insanity of terrorism right into his home, threatening everything he holds dear. Tears of Jhelum lays bare before us, the story of one of those victims of terrorism, whose heartbreaking stories are otherwise lost forever behind the smokescreen of apathy and indifference.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars 

My Review:

Tears of Jhelum talks about determination, loyalty, regrets and what could have been and how you may not get a second chance. The main protagonist of the story is Wali who is faced with life and death when the evil fangs of terrorism envelope his family.

But this is also a story of second chances and of never giving up hope. What keeps the interest built is the conviction to see if the odds favour the underdog or does this family also meet the most obvious end.
The characters are well etched and believable; though they did seem weak and too submissive/meek at times. I think may be the situation made them swing towards self preservation rather than bravery. My favourite was Nusrat; the lady who has a spine of steel to go with her motor-mouth.

Anecdotes and musings keep the pace of the book very steady and it makes for an absorbing read. The picturesque descriptions of the mesmerising land pull you towards planning a visit. The descriptive, detailed narration by the author transports you to the paradise and it made me miss the sublime nature and earthy paradise of Kashmir.
I have stayed in the Valley for 3 years so I could clearly visualise the places I had once enjoyed. The pristine beauty of a paradise slowly being marred and scarred forever.

The road blocks and hurdles faced by Wali and his family make the book and interesting read. The book also has a good balance and avoids falling in the trap of self pity and misery that Kashmir has been plunged into.

The story progresses at a fast pace and the tension builds up doing justice to the theme of terror and how it can assert itself in various unsuspecting or obvious faces.

Between the reminiscing and regrets by Wali, the author manages to keep the tempo of the book. I was turning pages and waiting for the upheaval.

TEARS OF JHELUM conveys its message very clearly and I really liked the spirit of the book. If only it was as easy to diffuse the terror that plagues the Valley.

A thoughtful, positive book which leaves a glimmer of hope that the kind, helpful spirit shall triumph however broken it might be.

I had won this book at a Goodreads Giveaway and the review is my own.

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  1. vishalbheeroo

    The human stories in Kashmir devoid of prejudices need to be narrated to the world. Great review, Inderpreet and love how you approach reviews in a simple but endearing manner:)

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