Title: Snakes In The Meadows
Author: Ayaz Kohli
Publisher: Rupa Publications
My Rating: 4/5 stars
*Note: I am extremely grateful to Rupa Publications India for sending me this book. However, this does not at all hinder my honest opinions regarding the book. This is a spoiler-free review. All opinions are solely mine.
‘Snakes In The Meadows’ is a fictional story of love not restricted to any boundaries whatsoever. It is a portrayal of love for one’s own nation, one’s own values, and one’s own people.
The book is set in Jammu and Kashmir in the year 1987. The main characters include Aslam and Ashwar who in my opinion are two beautifully created characters. Once you read the book, you’ll realize how both of them have proved to be fighters for justice in their own ways. Aslam and Ashwar are both united in their love for each other and their ideologies in some ways too, yet they remain divided by society. They are forced to carry on with their lives individually and the only thing that brings them together is the tragedy that their hometowns are forced to face.
The book deals with issues like terrorism and religion. It deals with sufferance and tolerance, love and hate. It has a lot to do with emotional pain and internalized agony and how the characters decide to externalize it. It talks about ‘justice’ and how easily the word can be moulded for the sake of convenience which can be religious, political, or even patriotic in nature.
The book has shifting scenes which, on the one hand, do help the reader in understanding the whole scenario better but also, are capable of leading to confusion. The multi-perspective is divided among stories of many characters which did not help me in correlating one character’s story with another’s. The confusions however do get clarified to a certain degree towards the end of the book.
I would recommend ‘Snakes In The Meadows’ to those who love the blend of emotions with actions. It presents a comparison of personal indulgences with community’s benefit. Those who don’t mind shifting scenes and multi-perspective rich books, would surely love it!
Have you read this book? Would you like to? What do you think about my review? Let me know in the comments section below!
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