31 March, 2015

#BookReview :: The Forbidden One by Zaarra Khader

Desire enchants! Irrespective of what that desire is for and no matter how correct or blatantly wrong it seems to the world around us - it leaves us stirred. The more we try to resist it, the more irresistible it becomes till there comes a moment when we actually have to take a call whether to draw lines or to cross those intimidating boundaries. The Forbidden One is for all those who believe that one can feel to be alive only when one takes that leap of faith to cross the barriers to your moment of truth. The Forbidden One is also for those who haven’t fulfilled their forbidden dream as yet and are on that cusp of time to take their chances.

The Forbidden One is a compilation of short stories - the chronicle of characters who, in some way or the other, are either excluded or restrained or tattooed ‘promiscuous’ by the society. Malicious and primitive in its ways, pushing such people on the periphery is bourgeois. Yet such people have a life of their own and as we go delve deeper into the lives of these characters we discover strengths, self-belief and even a sense of ease with which these characters go about their daily chores. Each of the ten tales here is set in the deep ocean of human emotions. Except that some of these emotions find their expressions in forms that are supposed to be suppressed as per the norms and inherited wisdom of the society.

In recent times, a lot of Anthologies are hitting the Indian Market. It offers a wide variety of stories with each flavour as distinct and unique as its author. Thanks to such Anthologies, I have recently developed a general liking towards short stories as opposed to the time when I would read short stories only if they were by O'Henry (who doesn't love his twists) and Jefferey Archer.

Zaarra Khader offers a collection of ten short stories in her book 'The Forbidden One'. Frankly the cover, put me off because I assumed that the stories would be about love and sexuality - the kind that have low quality but sell like hot samosas. But then I know better than to judge a book by its cover. I read the blurb and asked around and decided to give it a try and I am glad that I got over my initial impression of the book and picked it up eventually.

Zaarra Khader has brought together ten very different stories to the readers. Ofcourse the common theme among them is love, but just not one kind. Love between lovers, between friends, between mother and child and even between a devotee and God is captured beautifully through the pages. There is another common thread among the stories... In most of them the character have all reached out for their 'forbidden fruit'. It portrays the core of human behaviour when they are face with restrictions or the bad comes to worst. Overall, all the stories were high on emotions and the author has handled her narrative quite well. The language used is simple yet enticing though I must say I craved for more dialogues in the stories. Another thing that irked me was the fact that everytime the author used Hindi terms, there were explanation in bracket next to it. It made the experience of reading the book a bit repetative as I do understand both Hindi and English. Small notes at the end of the page or a glossary at the end of the book would have been better. Or as I prefer, not using regional language in an IWE book would have been best.

Overall, this book comes as a surprise to me as it delivered in quality. Also, this in no way seems like a debut work of the author. She is someone I will watch out for in the future and I hope you will check out this book in the meantime.

Review Copy received from the Author

1 comment:

  1. The plot seems to promising, will surely read it sometime.. Thanks for the review