The end is not always the happy one.

kash kashmir
Kash Kashmir…..(if only Kashmir) by Rajesh Talwar

Genre: Romance, Thriller, Historical Fiction
Ratings: ⭐⭐
Links: •AmazonGoodreads

The play opens with a scene in a garden opposite a large double-storey house in which a young teenage boy of school going years confesses his love to a young girl. The boy, Rohan, is a Kashmiri Hindu and the girl, Ayesha, a Muslim. The two families, the Pandits and the Shahs are neighbours. Soon after this profession of love, together with thousands of other Kashmiri Pandits, the boy and his family are forced to leave Srinagar, leaving their house and possessions behind. It is the beginning of 1990 that marks the Kashmiri Pandit exodus. At first the family stays in a refugee camp in Jammu, awaiting the possibility of return, but hopes of return rapidly dwindling, eventually they move to Delhi. Rohan, who is still in school, decides to join the Indian Army.
Ten years pass. Rohan is now a Major in the army, and is transferred to Srinagar, where he once again encounters Ayesha and her brother who is now part of the independence movement. What will happen now? Will Rohan and Ayesha’s childhood romance be rekindled? Will Ayesha’s brother be arrested or killed by the Indian army? The play explores sensitive issues in a fair and compassionate manner trying to bring in all points of view, eventually reaching the conclusion that the interests of Kashmiris is best served by their choosing to remain with India.
Essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the tragedy that is present day Kashmir and the way forward….



The story starts with the children playing monopoly and it was when the boy Rohan expresses his love the girl; Ayesha. The book is more of a love story than anything else. The politics shown of Pakistan is weak and unclear. The time period was shown in only three scenes: one at the ISI office where the calendar shows year of !989, second where the boys meet Hafiz Saeed, the month was December and year 1989, and last at the house of Professor where the boy, Nadeem had been gone for a month training to Pakistan after meeting Hafiz Saeed yet the calendar month is shown that of December.

The story is very slow and the first half of book was about the Hindu exodus in January 1990. The book is full of emotional and dramatic dialogues rather than showing the misery at refugee camps and showing the plannings by the terrorist group and the Indian Army. The book is one sided and shows the thoughts of Rohan and leave the other characters out of the scene. I’d have liked to know more about Nadeem and his thoughts but there are no details.

**spoilers**…Nadeem is shown the change of heart after the training yet was no more in the group and it was never shown when he decided to step out and why after ten whole years did the terrorist group planned to kill him…why after ten years and why not as soon as he left them. **end of spoilers**

The writing style all in all was good and though the story wasn’t strong, it wasn’t a bore either. The thrill of  “what will happen next” was not there much but it also wasn’t “i don’t care what happens next” kind of book. The book was not much knowledgeable, as I expected it to be. The dialogues were unnecessarily long and that made the book slight boring.

Our view may differ from each other so if you’ve read the book, let’s discuss.

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