Book Review | Scattered Souls

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Author:  Shahnaz Bashir

It was the 1990s. The army descended upon Kashmir to quell a massive armed rebellion against Indian rule. They entered not just the land, but also the lives of its people, fracturing their idea of home and punctuating their days and nights with curfews. This extraordinary collection brings together the stories of some of those people probing the quandaries of their precarious existence.

There is that ex-militant whose past continues to stalk his present; the wife who begins to dress like her husband after losing him to a crossfire. There is the boy who obsessively follows President Obama’s India visit, hoping to hear him mention the ‘K’ word; and the man whose transistor triggers paranoia in his neighbourhood. Unassuming yet hard-hitting, Scattered Souls journeys through a destroyed Kashmir swaddled in the memories of its fragile beauty.

 

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