Holy Sinners:Search of Kashmir by Major Saras Tripathi

Title-Holy Sinners: Search Of Kashmir
Author:Major Saras Tripathi
Publisher:Manas Publication
Source:review Copy
Price:995 INR/-

                       I have great respect for Army Men.Infact,that was the sole reason behind me accepting this rather 'heavy' book for review.Written by debutant writer Major Saras Tripathi, an ex-army Man himself, 'Holy Sinners:Search Of Kashmir' is a moving account of the senseless devastations,encounters,firings,militancy and life in the Kashmir Valley.

                     Divided into 14 chapters,'Holy Sinners' is no light read,but that doesn't mean that it's a dull or boring work.Major's writing may lack the craft and finesse of a veteran story teller but that doesn't take the sheen off this well- intentioned, decently executed work.The book not only portrays the hardships faced by the soldiers in the most hostile terrains but also serves to shatter a lot of myths about kashmiris.Our mainstream media quite often gives us a very hazy picture of life in the valley and it's only through books like this that we get to know about the real Kashmir and it's inhabitants.From the exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits to the senseless killings happening in the Valley in the name of the 'holy war',the book gives a three dimensional view of the complex issues faced by citizens of the Valley.

                   As I had mentioned before, this is a work of non-fiction.It is actually a collection of real-life incidents which the author had experienced during his stint as a serving Army Officer in the Valley.Some of them are really touching and inspiring.From the illiterate mother in 'Mozi' who, despite losing her beloved son helping the soldiers when they are badly in need of help to the mild mannered teacher in 'The Gift Of Shroud',the book has got some really interesting stories to tell.For me,this work is a celebration of humanity,more than anything else.It's all about courage,hope and love for the motherland.

                   The writing is competent and is devoid of any literary pretensions.The writer deserves a pat on his back for doing away with lengthy descriptions and un-necessary detailing.One of the main positives of this book is that it never turns out to be a tiring read.The book packs in a lot of information on how the Army functions and also throws light into the hardships faced by  Army Men.The minor issues I have with this book concern the editing and proof-reading.Some chapters definitely need a little bit of trimming.The Cover page also could have been better,a lot better! At INR 995/-,I think this book is pretty expensive!But these minor flaws apart,'Holy Sinners' is an interesting read which deserves your time and money to be invested in!

                 On the whole,this book is an interesting work.I'm giving it a 3.25 out of 5


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