Friday, January 2, 2015

Book Review: Orphans of the Storm

Book Name: Orphans of the Storm
Author Name: Ravi Dhar
Published by: Blackbuck Publications


Orphans of the Storm’ is a novel by debutant author, Dr. Ravi Dhar who is a professor and director at JIMS (Jagnanth International Management School), New Delhi. In his book, Dr. Dhar choose to bring light to the plight of Kashmiri Pundits residing in Jammu & Kashmir and in other parts of India.

The book revolves around the life of Nund Lal Pundit and his family. While I thought that the story is going to be about Nund Lal Pundit, some pages later, it drifts to Siddhartha, our protagonist. I like the way where Siddhartha character has been left to be open and can be discovered with the surrounding and his own thoughts. In literature, normally, a character is defined through passages and chapters or it is left to dialogues to do so. Dr. Dhar chooses the last method for protagonist, which definitely allows us to relate to him and perceive him, as we want and not as what is written.

The story is about his family struggle and how after being uprooted from their own land, they strive hard to make a living and identity again. The book is a combination of plight of Kashmiri’s Pundits, Siddhartha’s struggle to make a living and find truth in the mad rules of the world.

Also, Dr. Dhar opts to create an atmosphere before penning down the twists and turns in the book. The opening line, ‘December is the cruelest month of the year’ makes readers aware that something dreadful is going to happen. Similarly, when something wonderful is going to happen in Siddhartha’s struggle, an ambiance is already formed.

With on-going in Jammu & Kashmir, this novel is perfect example to break the media influenced image of J & K and help us learn that the struggle is much more than we think.

Pros
The flow of the novel is smooth and the language is not grandeur, which makes the story more fun and interesting to read.

Cons

Personally, I liked the story however, during later stage; focus entirely shifts to Siddhartha while the happenings in his family are conveyed in just few lines. Also, initially the author mentions the disappearance of Rattan Lal, Siddhartha’s elder brother. It raises a hope that maybe something related to him will be brought up as Siddhartha is too disturb with the news of his brother’s missing. But, that is not cleared by author and is left as an open end.

Overall:
It is good read and wonderful read!

Rating: 3.5/5

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