Saturday, August 7, 2010

Half cries of the Valley

The real blues in Kashmir never quite show up--a cold protagonist doesn’t help

Kashmir Blues
Urmilla Deshpande
Rs 275
The title of Urmila Deshpande’s novel, Kashmir Blues, is evocative—of the tragedies of dislocation and loss, and the melancholia of a people torn into two. Sadly, the book itself does not quite deliver. Deshpande’s plot offers itself up to criticism far too easily. Her characters are too insipid to inspire any kind of empathy.

Naia, an American of Indian origin, is a cold protagonist. She can hardly be described as the central or lead character because although her story is the focal point of the narrative at the start, she starts to fade away halfway through the novel, disappears completely towards the end, and resurfaces only in the epilogue. By that time, you don’t really care enough about her to want her back on the scene.

Full review here Mint

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