Book Review : My Land across the Border by Sayan Bhattacharya

Title : My land across the border

Author : Sayan Bhattacharya

Published : Blogchatter E book Carnival

Format : PDF

Book Blurb: Siraj discovers a dark secret lurking in his family’s past, which he must unravel to reconstruct the truth about his own identity and roots. Destiny leads Siraj to the land where he was born, to uncover the secret of his family’s past that lay buried within the annals of its history. Mrinal, on the other hand undertakes a trip to Bangladesh as the journey of his lifetime: a land which he had had to leave behind amidst the fire of communal violence in 1950, post the Partition of India.

Review : Siraj is brought up by his uncle and aunt. His aunt has told him stories about the land he was born in, about the parents he doesn’t remember. Years later, the stories come knocking at his door.

Mirnal remembers leaving his country in the dark of night. He promises he will return. Does he get a chance?

Through Siraj and Mirnal, the author has delved into the bloodshed, the mass killings which happened during India Pakistan and later Pakistan – Bangladesh partition.

Are the people who lose their everything ever able to forget and start life again. Or do they live their lives as ghosts?

Wherever people have been displaced from there motherland, the families they have lost, the history which is projected just tries to cover up the deeds. Whether it was mass killing of Jews by Hitler, the India – Pakistan- Bangladesh partition, the present day Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan.. when people flee war, it is always a loss of humanity, a failure which the few mislead keep repeating. No one gains anything and everyone loses, but somehow the lesson is never learnt.

Closer home, I’ve lived with displaced Kashmiri Pandits and I know their pain.

Sayan has rightly brought this story in the times when world is again lurking towards war, not realizing the folly which erases millions and destroys everything.

The story line is gripping. Language is easy, and as with his previous books the author has again proved his good grasp over history.

What I liked : The detailed research which is evident throughout. Sayan has painstakingly constructed the entire story in the timeline of events and places, and no where are you able to point out a gap.

What I did not like : I can’t pinpoint a pitfall, yet I would have liked more details about the psychology of why and how people do get carried away by religion/ race, and why even at those times, there are those who don’t forget the basic ethos of humanity.

The author could have elaborated more on the Jafar angle and tried to clear the cloud on why Siraj’s uncle changed his identity and his remorse.

About the author : Born in 1974 in Kolkata and a Post-graduate in English Literature, Sayan’s professional career spans twenty-two years, initially in banking and financial services and presently in the FinTech industry. An avid traveller and reader, Sayan’s passion for writing is his hobby and a medium to showcase his own kaleidoscope of life’s stories.

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