Book Review – Sankes in the Meadows by Ayaz Kohli, published by Rupa Publications !
Jammu and Kashmir, 1987. In the hilly village of pathri Aali, where legends appear true, Aslam and ashwar, two young lovers, dream of marriage and of good things of life. But that is not to be. Unable to cope, Aslam leaves pathri Aali forever. Years later, as men migrate to Saudi Arabia for employment, pathri Aali is populated mostly by women and children. Soon they realize the mujahedeen, who guise themselves as their liberators, are the worst perpetrators, and misery seems inescapable. Ashwar refuses to be cowed down by this reign of terror and is determined not to let it devastate the once-peaceful village. The only one she can Bank on is aslam—and she calls out to him across the distance of time and space, to return and live up to the legends of their village. Snakes in the meadows is a saga of the onset of militancy, and the suffering and the resilience of pir panjal—the ‘and’ of Jammu and Kashmir.
Okay, so i have no idea why i am coming across deep and darkly terrifying novels so often lately. But this really melted my heart and I had my part of shedding tears.
Snakes in the Meadows has really been a tormenting read because the things discussed pertain to the current situation. And more overly, the way they have been presented by the author, really leaves you in tears. All that sufferings, inhumanity and cruelty really shooks you up!
Though the cover is not very attractive, but the title, omg! It has been so aptly chosen and deeply thought for, that only after reading the story, one gets the real essence of it.
The story has been set in Pathri Ali , an abode for diversified flora and fauna, for which the fate has written something very disturbing. The peace of this place is dimantled by the militants who are so cruel that nobody is spared of their wrath let alone, women and children. A love story which basically has no ‘happily ever afters’ also comes into play through the progression.
Who were the ‘Snakes’ and what was the ‘Meadows’ for ? Very well answered by the end.
The powerful storyline is really new and relatable. The plot uplifting the family and militant tensions is really tense. Every page keeps you glued to the story. And the strong emotions, they were just overflowing. Writing style is commendable as it really gives an insight into the dreadful situation the people had to face. The end is not a cliffhanger, most importantly.
Recommended to all!
My Ratings : 4 🌟 /5
You can buy this book here!