Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Book Review #17 : India Was One

Author: An Indian (Anonymous)

Publisher: CreateSpace (Paperback),
Amazon Digital Services (Kindle edition), Smashwords (eBook)

Pages: 370

Genre: Realistic-fiction, Contemporary

In an age when India seems to be threatened by all kinds of social and political ills, regional divide and religious inconsistencies, 'India Was One' knocks on that door, yearning to be re-opened to universal brotherhood and oneness. This is a self-published book straight from the heart.

The title creates anxiety and inquisitiveness in readers - India was one. Why 'was'? Isn't it yet one?

I loved the pencil drawing illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. It was a visual treat.

A lovely relationship between two people has been portrayed. I personally loved the choice of the protagonists names - Kaahi and Jai.

The author remains anonymous in order to honour the concept of India. He thinks that labelling his name as a Hindu, a Muslim, etc. would have pre-conceived judgements and notions in the reader’s mind. Hence, he calls himself 'An Indian' - who remains to be passionate about his country without revealing his identity! 

 The way he has crafted the book and the detailed descriptions of Indian culture is worth appreciation. Good part - Politics was not over dramatised.

Along with the story narration, there are times when the characters use Hindi phrases as part of their conversations (which are then translated). The dialogues in Hindi added a flavour and charm to the book!

The author fears frustration over the deep politically-driven fissures in today’s India might one day result in yet another Partition. The writer lets his imagination run loose to the possible scenarios of a divided India. Partitions create boundaries between people, not just countries. I'd never think about such a dreading situation- partition part II in India. It is scary.

The split of India leads to a split in Kaahi and Jai's rosy life. They are forced to live separately as India is now divided into North India and South India.

The initial chapters of the book concentrate on the love story of two individuals coming from different religious background and culture and their carefree days of college.

When Jai and Kaahi decide to convert their college romance into a lifetime of togetherness, India from being 'one' begins to scatter into multiple fragments due to civil unrest. Authorities tell Jai that he and his wife would not be allowed to board the same flight to India. The couple is stripped of their identity. The country they once called their own was dissected into two.

The book reflects the innate emotions of every Indian who has left India to settle abroad – that sense of longing for their families, friends and all things mundane that was part of the everyday life in India.

As human beings, countries and religions should not separate us.  Emotions bind us all. This book proves that 'you can take an Indian out of India but not India out of an Indian.'

From one moment to the other, smiles and success and affection turn to tears and fear and separation. The book is about being one with your motherland, being one with India. This book is a product of exceptionally different thinking - no actual story as such, but the diversions and descriptions of various cultures make this book worth a read.

This last part of the book is the one where the writing is most powerful. It gives us a lot to ponder on. The twist in the tale and the ending are all brought together beautifully. The book ends with a Bollywood-style twist!

There are many moments in the book when you feel immensely proud of being an Indian. The message the book conveys is what makes it different than the rest - "Although we are coming from different states, with different languages and religion, we are all Indians. We all love India…in our own way."

This is a love story with a twist - Romance with patriotism. This book is magical. Highly recommended! A pleasant read.

It is thought provokingly amazing! An Indian's writing style is brilliant and simple never making the book a heavy read. An enjoyable book with the richness of India -an eye opener, literally! A book like this is worth preserving in paperback form, really!

Ratings - 4.5/5

PS: This review is a part of Book review program hosted by Write Tribe.

Details about the book  ~
Availability: Since the book is available in various stores all over the world, this link is the best place to see if it’s available in your area. YouTube video showing various artwork used in the book:
Facebook: (over 27,000 likes)
Amazon: (4.1 based on 73)

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