India’s history has always fascinated me. Having grown up in Bangalore, I have heard friends, especially from Punjab, talk about the nostalgic way their grandparents recall the pre-partition times. I have wondered what life would be like if our neighbors were our family. What it would be like (as the author in her dedication says) if we were undivided.
So when I came across Lahore the first book in the Partition Trilogy on Blog Chatter, I signed up for a copy in exchange for a fair review. And I was not disappointed.
From the beginning, the story sets a lively pace. The stage is set for the political scenario during the time of India’s Independence and what that ‘freedom’ cost the common man. The book is fictional but has many important characters from India’s political history. It alternates between how the common man is affected on the streets by the partition and the dilemma & decisions faced in the political offices.
The unrest and unease of the common man are palpable. The first chapter itself sets the pace for the unrest & agitation that is brewing and how friends, co-workers & neighbors are affected / influenced by it. The book builds on this agitation and it culminates in the horror of the riots and the loss of loved ones that are seared in people’s minds. I can relate to this, as even to this day some of my friends’ grandparents speak of friends, family, and homes that they had to leave behind and flee to create new lives for themselves. The book also captures the political ‘miscalculation’ (if one can call it that) of the reality of the horrors of the partition compared to what it was assumed – that it would be only on paper, just a line drawn to separate 2 countries.
As in life, in the book too, women bear the most brunt of the havoc brought on by the partition – physically, mentally, and emotionally. But there are strong women too in the story, who are quiet anchors of strength. They are not relegated to just the kitchens and bedrooms as many wrongly believe of women of those times.
The author, Manreet Sodhi Someshwar, has brilliantly captured the mood that would have been prevalent at that time. While the book is fiction, her storytelling speaks volumes of the research put in to ensure a proper representation of what is a very important time for India – her birth and freedom and division. I am now looking forward to the next two books in the trilogy. I have not read any of the other books by the author. But going by how much I enjoyed Lahore, I am starting The Radiance Of A Thousand Suns soon.
While we were divided into 2 nations some 74 years ago, this partition still strongly influences many things – our political and religious beliefs, our perception of people, and so on. There are important lessons to be learnt from the partition, but which we may have sadly failed to do so till date. We continue to tear apart our country and community in the name of politics, religion, and region. Here is hoping that there soon comes a time when lives and actual people matter more than ideologies.
If you, like me, like historical fiction and are curious about India’s history, you will surely enjoy this book. I especially loved the cover – the colors are of a beautiful city burning in the dusk. Check out the details below on how you can buy the same.
Title : Lahore – I of The Partition Trilogy
Author : Manreet Sodhi Someshwar
Category : Historial Fiction
Language : English
No. Of Pages : 313
Available On : Amazon.in Kindle Edition & Paper Back
Rating By The Scarlett Dragonfly : 4.8 / 5