Wednesday 23 September 2015

India Was One

Author: An Indian

Genre: Fiction

Publishers: (India) & Createspace Publishing (International)

Reviewed by: Shane West, Team TRE

The Readers Express Rating:✪✪✪✰✰

Book Review: 'India was one' the title itself creates a curiosity in the minds of the reader and one wonders whether it is yet another story inspired by the ghastly partition of India. Even in the prologue one asks oneself what might have happened on a national scale which led to the separation of the protagonist 'Jai' with his beloved 'Kaahi'.

After a curious start, the story begins in past perfect with the introduction of Jai and his friends at the backdrop of their college life. They resemble an average group of students found in Indian colleges and their canteens, the lectures, their fun, their togetherness and the stereotypical bollywood inspired Indian youth's search for true love! Hence it wasn't surprising to find that Jai too managed to win the heart of Kaahi and their relation progressed successfully towards matrimony which is in fact averse to the 'love marriage stigma' which dreads most Indian parents even today in the country irrespective of urban or rural lineage.

As you continue with the story, you will find this as just a story of happy go lucky upper class Indians who can afford the privilege of a gala wedding and sending their kids to the US. As you go further, you would find them adjusting to the Indian society outside India but once they begin to closely monitor the lives of their counterparts in the alien country, they realise the beauty in the diversity of their own country which they never noticed while they were in their homeland. The author has beautifully demonstrated almost all the demographics and societal variations of Indian states. Also noteworthy are the travelogues of Europe and some parts of US.

Just when you seem to enjoy the lifetime experiences of the couple, a sudden change in the dynamics of Indian nationality enters their lives like a storm so severe that it leads to their separation as well. Is India all about race, caste, religion or cultural differences? Can a diverse land live peacefully sans its diversities? These are the questions that will rise in your mind when you read this story. It will rattle the hearts of Indians who put their community or religion above their country. The author has summed up his observation in a patriotic quote:

'You can take an Indian out of India but you cannot take India out of an Indian!'

Will Jai be able to re-unite with Kaahi? Will India be united again? Read this book of powerful message of Indian nationalism to find out the answers.

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