My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I give 4 stars to “Kashmir 90” by Vineet Mishra. It is a story from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
This is pretty good book on marriage, love, life and some events that shook India. You will feel the trials and tribulations of the lead character Shiv Pandit and his friend Vineet as your own.
The story starts with marital problems of Vineet and Mallika. They are a typical modern couple who has a lot of money but stress, no time for each other and rushed, tired life as side effects or price for that money. Shiv Pandit is always gregarious friend of Vineet. One fine day they meet for beer and Shiv is not in a joyous mood. He also rues that his life has become routine and dull. Vineet feels he can find remedy for his problems in Shiv’s experience. Shiv tells him that his story started from Srinagar, Kashmir. He joined Regional Engineering College, Srinagar in mechanical engineering. There he meets love of his life Maya who is from Kerala and joined Civil Engineering. Then due to terrorism in valley they have to leave college and lost touch. Then after many twists and turns story culminates in Mumbai during Ram Janambhoomi agitation.
The book kept me captivated. This is a brisk paced novel. It starts from Mumbai then goes to Baroda, Surat, Mumbai, Kerala. The romance is in beginning teenage but later one matures to married romance. The characters are real and relatable. I related with the story more as I also did my engineering from REC, Surat and had three friends who came from REC, Srinagar after terrorism. The lead character Shiv and his friends are very lively. Plight of Kashmiri Pandits who has to leave everything behind in valley and start from scratch is brought out beautifully. Love story of Shiv and Maya is very pure, likable and sweet. College time fun is described in detail. Ramjanam Bhoomi agitation and subsequent demolition of Babri Masjid led to friction between Hindus and Muslims. This is driven them apart and it will take a long time to bridge that gap. Even then the scar will remain.
Solution to keep the flame of love burning in married life is given thus:
“The relationship between you and Mallika can only stay fresh if you reinvent it all the time. The moment you stop working on it that’s the day it will drift. Work, kids and all the responsibilities must be kept aside for few moments once in a while. In those moments forget that you are husband and wife and are so annoying for each other. Take your thoughts to your college time and remember with how much difficulty you got her. That doesn’t mean you would seize to be husband and wife, and become perfect. That won’t happen. You will still fight and we will meet again to crib about our wives.”
To sum up a very good novel. Highly recommended. I will planning to read “Vinu, I am getting married” shortly.
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