Anita Krishan’s novel, the latest one, Despite Stolen Dreams is being considered as being one among the works of fiction by Indian novelists which represent the Indian English writing on the world stage with the true colours and in the best possible way! I am not saying all this merely because many others are saying so. I am saying all this because I have been reading literature for some time now and I have grown old reading books by authors from various parts of the world – India being special. Despite Stolen Dreams, as it might reflect by the metaphor in the title, is a work of fiction which traces the loss but the ‘despite’ that begins it says a lot to the readers who are rather serious about reading!
Anita Krishan has written about the problem of terrorism and also the problem around terrorism. She has tried to enter into the psyche of a person who has been badly harassed and affected by terrorists in Kashmir. And not only that, she is also trying to explore the traces of terrorism – how does it begin and how does it end.
When you begin reading the novel Despite Stolen Dreams, you will be taken aback by the revelations which are near something we all know but don’t speak casually. Anita has tried to explore the various facets where religion intrudes into education and we get the worst results. Her portrayal of the Wali family and Wali himself is just wonderful. She, being from a place near to the mountains, and also having spent some time in Kashmir perhaps, has drawn a beautiful picture of the place but in an otherwise manner. Anita Krishan has just done enough to arouse the sentiments of the readers and compel them to read the novel entirely and quickly.
Despite Stolen Dreams is a novel which must be read by the readers who are looking for something wonderful to read. This is a serious fiction with literary qualities and embellished language which we seldom find in the contemporary writing. I won’t comment much on the story because it will kill the joy of reading. However, let’s settle for the things below:
Wali is compelled to leave Kashmir and settle in Delhi because he haunted by terrorists – especially Shakeel who wants to marry his daughter. In Delhi, he has to undergo several problems initially but after meeting Kashmira Singh, he realises that life has more to offer if it has something to claim. The writing of Anita has made the Delhi-Wali episode just wonderful until the time before terror strikes back in his life. What happens next? Will Wali finally die? Will the terrorists do something big in Delhi for which they have come?
To know these answers, you have to read this novel because it is inviting the readers so warmly! The novel is lively and animated. Read on.