Friday, December 2, 2016

Kashmir 90 - Book Review

Kashmir 90
By Vineet Mishra
Review By Ila Garg

Kashmir 90, a novel by Vineet Mishra, is published by Frog Books, an imprint of Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd. The cover was the first thing I loved about the book. The scenic beauty depicted on the cover reminds one at once, of the Dal Lake of Kashmir.

Vineet Mishra started his journey from Dehradun having done his schooling there before moving to Bangalore for his engineering from B. M. S. College. Having completed his engineering, he joined the Corporate World and since then has been working at various locations in India and Abroad. He completed Executive Program in Business Management from IIMC and is also a PMP certified professional. He is presently settled in Mumbai and is working in the field of Project Management.
Kashmir 90 is his second book having written, Vinu, I am getting married earlier and working on his third book titled Twin Trouble.
Apart from writing fiction, Vineet Mishra has other hobbies including his passion for riding. He is also a proud HOG (Harley Davidson Owner) and enjoys long rides.

The blurb reads as, “The story Kashmir 90 starts in 2011 and travels back in time accidentally over an animated conversation between two friends, Vineet and Shiv. The heart-wrenching and the most unfortunate events of 1989-1990 in Kashmir caused the ripples which gave rise to this roller coaster tale that destiny wrote for Shiv. Shiv Pandit, a proud Kashmiri young boy of the valley and a darling of his local community, who has the world on his feet after getting admission in College of Srinagar, starts his journey of becoming a man from a boy along numerous other youngsters from all across the country. During the hostel life meets new roommates and develops a great bond with them through few hilarious and funny events. He also develops a soft corner toward a girl name Maya from Kerala. The college life was like a dream for him. In the background, the extremist fringe was spreading the lethal hate in the air Kashmir. The hate bomb when exploded and shook the soul of Kashmir, the causality was the Kashmiri Pandit community. The college was also closed down and the students who had gone for a winter break could never return to college! Shiv loses his roots, his college, his cradle and his love. He finds himself at junction of unknown crossroads of life. This new path of destiny takes him to different parts of the country to rediscover faith in humanity, friendship and love. In turn, it brings along new relationships, disappointments, fun, thrill and adventures. But the changing politics of the country, Ram Janmabhoomi movement and Bombay riots create surge in his life and cause a chain reaction that brings him to a point where once again he finds himself in a situation where he could lose it all! Will he again accept the fate and drift along or fight for his treasure of life?”

Set in the beautiful valleys of Kashmir, the story is centred around a carefree boy, Shiv and his life as a Kashmiri Pundit. He cracks one of the toughest engineering entrance examinations and gets admission in one of the most reputed colleges in Kashmir. Meanwhile, he meets a charismatic girl, Maya and at once falls in love with her. The plot after that captures episodes where Shiv tries his best to impress Maya.

The author has sketched all the character beautifully; readers can also relate to them. Apart from Shiv and Maya, Shiv’s roommates find space in the plot too. Both his roommates are opposite in personalities, one is a crackpot while the other is a nerd. Vibha’s character has been sketched beautifully as well. She is Shiv’s teacher and resembles Maya a lot.

The plot thus seems quite realistic and successfully portray deep and intricate emotions while exposing some of the real brutal incidents that Kashmir has witnessed; the incidents that completely changed the lives of the entire community of Kashmiri pundits. The language is simple and easy to comprehend. Nowhere will the readers feel any disconnect. It’s so well-written that once you pick up, you cannot keep it down without finishing it off. It took me a couple of hours to complete the book. I found it quite engaging. The subject is tackled beautifully by the skillful author.

Further, this 216-page book is a light read and overall a compelling book. How Shiv meets Maya and falls for her, how he tries to woo her, how they separate, how Shiv meets Vibha who is his teacher but since she resembles Maya, he loses his heart to her too, will Shiv and Maya ever be reunited, will their love story see any happily ever after are some of the many reasons why you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens in Kashmir 90.

The book is highly recommended. Love that comes out as strong despite the hurdles is the USP here.

Ratings: 4/5

Buying Links: Amazon | Flipkart | PustakMandi

P.S. - I got the book from Cyclops Literary Services in exchange of an honest review.

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