Sunday, 22 April 2018

The Tale of Two Countries by B. K. Kakra : Book Review

We all know about the immigrants who travel from one part of the world to another in search of better opportunities. In the 1940s and 50s several Indians migrated to England in search of a stable community. Karkra's take delineates the life of Gursevak and Sukhwinder who migrate to England following the horrors of Partition and look forward to a blissful married life there.

However, even though the book begins on a positive note with Gursevak and Sukhi slowly accomplishing a livelihood in the alien land, it sponsor proceeds to portray a gory image of communal hatred triggered by some jingoistic nationalists. Whenever I read stories of the partition, be it Manto or Khushwant Singh, my heart wrenched with agony and bereavement.

Among several major themes like alienation in a country away from homeland, communal hatred, the horrors of Partition we also find minor themes which are just as important. The absence of love for motherland in children growing up abroad, the loneliness of old age and eternal love for someone : these minor themes have also been touched upon in the novel.

However, the book loses it's potential in the climax. The events were originally very strong, however, the writing style fails to communicate the agony correctly. It seems too rushed into and a bit unrealistic owing to the sudden change of events and I am afraid I could not grasp it completely. Also, the chapters were not named aptly in a quest for stylistic devices.

Even though the plot had a lot of room for improvisation, I give A Tale of Two countries 3 stars out of 5 stars because of the articulate writing style and the strong middle part. If intense books are what you are looking for, grab The Tale of Two Countries by B. K. Kakra on Amazon.

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