Despite Stolen Dreams by Anita Krishan – Review
Anita Krishan’s latest novel, Despite Stolen Dreams, is wonderful and a moving fiction which no reader can deny appreciating once he or she finishes the reading! Wali Khan wins the hearts of many readers because he embraces the life instead of embracing to bow down to terrorism and let his daughter be married forcefully to a terrorist. However, will his firm resolve to remain firm and stand against the terror sustain? Will his life in Delhi be peaceful and away from all the dangers? How long will the prey stay safe from the predators? These are some of the questions which need to answers and that answer can only be found once you read this beautifully written and wisely crafted literary fiction.
After a long time, the team at NovelsToRead has found something as wonderful as this novel, Despite Stolen Dreams, to read from someone among the contemporary Indian fiction writers. Anita Krishan, a retired professor of English Literature and an experienced author, has distanced herself from the ongoing typical trends in Indian English Literature and has produced some of the wonderful novels and Tears of Jhelum along with the latest one Despite Stolen Dreams is widely appreciated.
The novel opens with the scenes of Terror in Kashmir and we get to know how the Madrasas are forced to become extreme in their teachings and forge terrorists rather than bright citizens of the future. And we get to know the ‘narrow escape’ by Wali and his family with the help of Abdul as they flee from their homeland for Delhi where, they think, they can be free or at least safe from the terrorists.
The meat of the novel lies in the chapters which feature Wali and his family in Delhi. They spend a good life with peace and prosperity at heart in Delhi and Wali’s gradual comfort comes after he meets Kashmira Singh, a fellow tragedy-struck person from the Sikh community. Their friendship is so beautifully drawn by Anita Krishan in her words that it will soothe the readers too much. Can there be something like this in a novel which begins on a note of terrorism’s seeds? Wonderful! The plight of a Kashmiri person Wali is the plight of all good-thinking Kashmiri who wants to get rid of the problems and leave at peace. The happiness that Wali acquires by his humane efforts is the happiness that every Kashmiri wants to have – his daughter’s success; his son’s good condition; his wife’s small pieces of joy; and his personal chemistry with a light-hearted Kashmira… everything goes wonderfully until the terror strikes back and the lives of Wali and his family members as well as his son-in-law Karan are in danger.
The bigger questions towards the conclusion of the novel Despite Stolen Dreams are – will Wali survive with his family? will the terrorists repeat something like 26/11 in Delhi? will the happiness succumb to hatred and terror?
And all this has been answered beautifully and the clue lies in the subplot of the novel by Anita Krishan which I have deliberately hidden. Reading this novel will certainly make you realise what you have been missing while reading those who just rewrite their very written novels and offer you the momentary entertainment in a masala movie style. Anita’s work is literary and it is a class apart from the lot… you got to read this! Get your copy of the bestselling contemporary classic Despite Stolen Dreams from the Amazon link below:
by an NTR contributor