Book Reviews by a Pioneer: Life in the Clock Tower Valley by Shakoor Rather

Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5

Love is known to strike in late teens, when one is still in college. It is also known to fall by the wayside in the face of parental or societal objections. Is this true love?

This is a love story set in the backdrop of Kashmir. Samar, a college going student is in love with Rabiya, his batch mate. Their love blossoms on their daily ride to the university in the same Matador. But the two fathers follow two opposing stalwart politicians of the state. Each staunchly opposes the ideology of the other. Their love is fated to wither, with the two protagonists also not having enough courage to brave the opposition.

Two other important characters are a 5-year-old Sana, and an older Pintoji, who is differently abled. They look at the world from their innocent eyes, not understanding the reasons for so much hatred and violence. Their dreams are for a peaceful and loving community.

The book does bring out the beauty of Kashmir in short passages. Though, I was a little disappointed, as I was expecting more detailed description of the beauty of the valley, and the reasons behind the political turmoil or terrorism. I was also wanting the love to succeed, which it did not. The passages about the innocent vision of Sana or Pintoji for a life which does not have differences touch your heart, with a hope for future.

This is a short novel. The story is well written. A decent one time read.

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