Author: Pankaj Kumar
Publisher: Partridge, a Penguin Random House Company
Cover : 3/5
Title : 2.5/5
Blurb : 3.5/5
Story : 3.5/5
Theme : 3/5
Characters : 4/5
Overall : 3.5/5
- Major Rathore- The protagonist
- Moinuddin- A young local boy
It was the autumn of year 1995, in the valley of Kashmir, the ancient land of saints and sages. The situation in the valley had taken a turn. In 1989, after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, insurgency broke out in Kashmir, a great number of militants got disengaged from Afghanistan. The ISI combined this force with indigenous militants and put them in the valley with arms and weapons. The period up till 1994 was one of great turmoil. A large number of youth were brainwashed and sent across the line of control for training in militant activities. By the midnineties, when the militancy was beginning to be tamed and democracy was set to return, the ISI made huge efforts once again to stall the democratic process. About that time, a young and dynamic army officer was deployed with his company in a small border village to stop the increased infiltration along the line of control. It was a task cut out for the zealous and tactically brilliant soldier. But it was not easy; soon he realized that military maneuvers don’t always win battles. Life is an unending succession of conflicts. However, life is not about conflicts; it is about resolutions. The village and its people befriend the major. Amongst them are Rashida and her terrorist brother, Faisal, and the lovable young boy, Moinuddin. It is a story of love-an unusual romance between two people who are so different and diverse yet so similar at the core.
Caught in an Avalanche by Pankaj Kumar is an unusually gripping tale. It is the story of an army man, Major Rathore. He is posted for duty in the beautiful valley of Kashmir. Being in army and given the consistent tension at the borders, army men usually turn to the villagers to relieve themselves of their stressful situations and find some content in the lives of the common men. But of course, they are not diverted from their duty even for fraction of a second. Same is the case with Major Rathore. He has a huge task at hand and he is well aware that without the help of the natives, he would never be able to trace down the culprits and put them behind bars. On one hand where Rathore is caught up in this mission, on the other he is caught by his heartbeats residing so far away from him, with Madhumita. He has narrated his love relation with Madhumita which adds sweetness to the script amongst all the serious scenario of their crucial mission.
A small boy by the name of Moinuddin is an angel in disguise for Rathore. At first, Rathore suspects that Moinuddin has a role to play in the on-going suspicious activities. Little did he know then that this small bundle of energy and wisdom would come to his rescue at the most difficult of times. Rathore takes him under his confidence and gets all his work done which he, as a army man, is unable to do. His best friend and subordinate, Rai, also plays a crucial role in the mission. Moinuddin’s neighbour Rashida and her brother Faisal are the top suspects for army, but are they really at fault? Well, you’ll find out once you get your hands on this tale of an unusual romance.
Pankaj has depicted the emotions of army men and the difficulties they face really well; no wonder it must have been a bed of roses for him given that he himself has served in the army for several years. Characters were crafted beautifully and each one added a different aspect to the story. Simple and relative narration.
The story could have been drafted better. There were a lot of redundant narrations which, if skipped, would have made the script finer.
An unusual romance at the borders, a different book (3.5/5)
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- Available at: Amazon
Paperback (Rs. 350)
Kindle (Rs. 169)
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