Book Review: Beneath Divided Skies

Author: Natasha Sharma

The Indo-Pak partition in 1947 wasn’t just a Radcliffe line separating the land or setting borders, but it was a division of hearts, families, and souls and most of all it was a destruction of humanity. People forgot their neighbours were just people beneath the veneer of religion and the political instigations used the proverbial chinks in the armour called religion to break resolves. Humans turned barbarians and the clan to bear the brunt of it all were women… irrespective of the side or religion or caste they belonged to. Their gender gave men a free hand to defile them, destroy them physically, and mentally and kill their spirit. The outcome of the partition was sheer ‘hatred’ that is seen even to date. Many of us born later in the day weren’t privy to the horrific nature of human nature taking a wrong turn in the shape of events unfolding in our backyards.

The silver lining, however, was the resilience of the umpteen women who despite the horrors they faced, stood the man-made tests of time. The book speaks about such women and their bravery aptly supported by the men in their lives. It speaks of love and sacrifice in strife, uncertainty and chaos. It speaks of how we become the masters of our destiny and by default our lives.

The story is an emotional roller-coaster and not for the fainthearted…

Satya is a teenage girl caught in the eye of the partition storm like many other girls and women in and around her village. Like them she faces her family being wiped out in a jiffy. However, instead of succumbing to the horrors she flees to India and finds a new purpose in life, She joins an organisation all set to rescue kidnapped women from either side of the border. Her life experience helps her fight the abominable forms of human behaviour around her and her quest to find her sister gives her the sheer strength to sail through turbulent waters.

During her missions, she falls in love with Iqbal, a young Army officer from the newly formed Pakistan. However, the borders run deep and threaten the existence and blooming of any such liaisons. Satya makes the heartbreaking decision to nip the relationship in the bud…

The story moves ahead and relies on her grit along with that of the women in her life who mould her fervour and spirit.

The story spread across timelines resonates with every woman of the independent countries today and is an attempt to show us what Independence cost us all. The pace of the story is smooth and every chapter makes you sit back and think about what went wrong and when did we choose to lose humanity…

On the positive front, it also shows us the flicker of hope that keeps the fire going in our hearts can help us convert the sparks into voluptuous flames that can help our dreams soar.

 

 

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Epilogue… Two years later Padma rushed to reach her school building. She was running late today…...

finale…

Chapter 33 She saw her aai lie on her side bleeding even as she uttered...

the plot thickens…

Chapter 32 Padma had lost her appetite. She only stared at the balcony whenever she...

Shiv returns

Chapter 31 Padma clutched her head as it throbbed even as the room swirled around...

Padma distressed…

  Chapter 30 Padma was panting as she struggled to breathe. The adrenaline from their escapade...

The escapade….

  Chapter 29 Shiv paced the narrow confines of the cabin acutely aware of the love...

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