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Book Review: A Hundred Lives For You by Abhisar Sharma

Abhisar Sharma

When I first reviewed a book written by Abhisar Sharma one and half years ago, I had described him as the Frederick Forsyth of India. When I began reading his latest book “A Hundred Lives For You” three weeks ago, I was amazed by the range of his writing, and the depth of his words. If Hundred Lives is the first book penned by Abhisar you are reading, you would find it hard to believe that this book has been written by the author of two action-thrillers.

A Hundred Lives For You deals with the intricacies of relationships and the human psyche. This is the story of Abhimanyu Sharma, 13, who is on the threshold of a new beginning when his father’s remarks scars him and changes his relationships forever. As you turn the pages, you will feel an emotional connect with Abhi. There is a slice you in him. We have all been through that phase of life where we had to give up our dreams to fulfill the ambition of our parents. We all had that one relative (here his Daddu) who we could confide into. From pranks on teachers to the first kiss – Abhi’s tale will take you through a joyride of memories.

Abhisar also narrates the horror of 1984 Delhi riots, and how relationships are scarred in the backdrop of the anti-Sikh pogrom. We get to enjoy Abhisar’s classic style of thriller-writing when after a decade, Abhi avenges the murder of his best friend’s father through a sting operation. Needless to say, Abhisar has poured his heart and soul into the story.

A Hundred Lives For You once again validates the strength of the bond of love. Manifested in various forms in this mesmerising tale, the novel will appeal to anyone who has their heart in the right place. From ‘The Girl By The Hut’ till the last word in the final chapter of the novel, Abhisar Sharma weaves an emotional tale of Abhimanyu, which is sure to leave your eyes moist.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars 

P.S. – Thank you Abhisar for the book.

Buy your copy of the book here: http://goo.gl/2rMvnU

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Book Review: When a tree shook Delhi: the 1984 carnage and its aftermath by Manoj Mitta and H.S.Phoolka

1984 carnage book review

After I finished reading the book, When a tree shook Delhi: the 1984 carnage and its aftermath by Manoj Mitta and H.S.Phoolka, I sat still for a few seconds and reflected of the severity of the experience of 200 odd pages I leafed through. The book serves the useful purpose of bringing together various bits of information regarding the Sikh carnage, replete with accounts from various government sources as well as witness stories; it also raises crucial questions about what went wrong and how.

Although there are a couple of official reports of inquiry commissions regarding the carnage, the book fills a void in that it brings together all these reports, and analyses their findings holistically. Manoj Mitta is an experienced journalist who has written about the 1984 slaughter extensively over two decades, and HS Phoolka a crusading lawyer who has fought for justice for the hapless and forlorn victims of the carnage.

Unlike many other “fact-finding” books I have read before, this one was not a cut-and-paste job or a collage of old newspaper clippings. The research and pain that has gone into putting this book together is massive and hence impressive.

Mitta and Phoolka have no difficulty in proving that the report of the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission that was appointed by the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1985 was a mere exercise in whitewashing facts. In 2001, the Vajpayee government appointed the Nanavati Commission that submitted its findings in the form of a report in 2005. Although the Nanavati Commission was more forthcoming about the “truth”, a lot was left unexplored.

The book raises an important issue of State complicity. The book confirms the worst suspicion that had the army been deployed in all the trouble-spots of the National Capital on October 31, 1984 itself, the killings could have been stopped. So, who delayed the deployment? The Home Minister and the Prime of Minister of India must answer.

It is tragic and ironic that the Congress made a Sikh Prime Minister “apologise” for a pogrom against Sikhs, 21 years after the carnage.  Manmohan Singh, while presenting the Nanavati Commission’s report in Parliament admitted that even 21 years after the tragic riots and two judicial inquiries into them, the “truth had not yet been fully revealed”. He humbly “apologised” not only to the Sikh community but also to the whole nation for what took place in 1984. Yet, even that solemn moment was not without irony. Jagdish Tytler, one of the several Congress leaders accused of complicity in the carnage, was then a member of the Council of Ministers.

Will the truth about the bigger conspiracy behind this pogrom ever emerge in the public domain? Or will the guilty evade the gallows just for the “lack of evidence”? The integrity of world’s largest democracy is at stake.

My Rating: 4/5 stars 

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