Saturday, December 10, 2011

QUICK REVIEW: "India Was One" - by an Indian


“INDIA WAS ONE”
by an Indian

REVIEWED BY: David Fritz

OVERVIEW
...Suddenly, he saw something shiny at the bottom of the abyss. He squinted his eyes to see what it was. He ran back to his binoculars and turned them to see what it was. Sharp barbed wires that separated the two mountains came into focus. He had come as far as he could in his country. But she was standing in another country. He was in South India and she was in North India... Have you ever imagined India being divided into two countries? What happens to the millions of Indians who are from South India but are now residing in North India? Kaahi & Jai were two such people who got trapped in this situation. Everything was going smoothly for them and suddenly, their world turned upside down. How will they get together? Will India become one again? Take an exciting journey with them from their college days in Mumbai to their life in the US and back to India when they find out that India is divided.

REVIEW

When I was asked to review this book I was a bit sceptical, not because of the book itself, but because this is totally outside of my regular reading genres. I personally hate anything with politics in it, so I felt a bit dubious.

But I either do something thoroughly, or not at all. So, having committed to the task I closed my eyes and dived in.

And what a pleasant read it was!

First we meet Jai and his friends Bunty, Subra and Punk in college in Mumbai. Then a beautiful girl, Kaahi, also joins the college and she becomes part of Jai's circle of friends when Bunty rescues her from the clutches of a sleazy senior who was forcing unwelcome attentions on her.

From day one Jai falls in love with Kaahi and gradually their friendship grows into a relationship, ending in marriage. They honeymoon in Rajasthan, then return to Mumbai to settle into married life and Jai starts working in his father's business.
The couple relocates to the United States, where Jai has to manage the American office of his father's business.

The transition is difficult for them both, but especially for Kaahi, who has to cope in a foreign country, with no family support at hand. They spend their weekends site seeing and get to know all the great cities near Los Angeles, where they live and work. A year or so later their travel dreams are fulfilled, when they tour Europe.

Then disaster strikes. There is civil unrest in India, so bad that the country is "divided" into a southern and northern state, and each person is required to move back to his/her town/city of origin! There is a total communication block-out, so the only way to make contact with their families is to go to India. But this poses a problem, as Kaahi's parents originally come from the north while Jai's family are from the south.

When going to check on the welfare of their families they have to split up. To further complicate matters there is a rule: you can fly in, but once in, you can't leave. So Jai and Kaahi are split, in their quests to seek out their parents. Will they ever see each other again? How and when?
I won't give away the story, but now it's all up to Bunty to help the two get together again.

This is a delightful story of love and friendship, playing off over three continents and several years. It's an easy read, and although politics enter and play a large role at the climax of the story, even I – as one who hates politics, did not find it over dramatised.

If you like love stories, especially those with suspense or a twist, you'll love this book.

DAVID’S star rating:   4/5

READ more REVIEWS at:

“India Was One” by An Indian, received 10 reviews on GoodReads. Read it here – http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11023399-india-was-one 

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