★ Avoid ★★ No Great Loss ★★★ Worth Reading ★★★★ Close to Masterpiece ★★★★★ Masterpiece
Story about one woman who, despite all the odds in life, takes on the responsibility and leads the entire community toward a progressive solution and revives the injured spirits and minds of Kashmiris.
A seven-year-old girl, Ghulab Sahib, living in Machail, is unaware of life and its complications. The Machail village, 9,500 feet above sea level, in Kashmir, India, is surrounded by high mountains, thick deodar forests, and attractive meadows that are fully covered with thick snow for most of the year, except in the summer months. Living her childhood in this most spectacular village, she doesn’t know that destiny is going to disrupt her peaceful life and propel her through a maze of grueling fateful events.
But these fateful events do not destroy her—instead, a woman of great knowledge, substance, experience, and unparalleled strength emerges in the being of Shahzadi Ghulab Sahib, who takes charge of millions of Kashmiri Muslims trapped in the terror-stricken Valley of Kashmir along with 500,000 internally displaced Kashmiri pandits living as refugees in their own country and bails them out, leading them toward a life of contentment, dignity, and pride.
Seven year old Ghulab Sahib lives in Machail village situated in Paddar, Jammu and Kashmir state in India. One morning while playing, she comes across Ali Murtaza – the leader of Hizb ul-Mujahideen who fell for 7 year old Ghulab’s deep blue eyes and claimed Ghulab to be his own and shall wait till this small blue eye turn to grown up for a man like him. Tears in Ghulab’s eye makes Ali angry and his terror act forces Machail’s people to move from Paddar village and finally rest at Zanskar. Ghulab’s thrust to learn things make her different than other children. Under guidance of the school’s Head Master Mustafa, her journey starts from innocent-intelligent girl to powerful young lady with abundant knowledge but wherever she goes, Ali and his men follow her like shadow and at one instant, everything in Ghulab’s life changes in a flash.
“Burning Sapphires” is not only story of Ghulab but it’s story of all lost soul of the paradise. After reading few pages, I started loving this novel because of it’s beautiful start. Author took time to describe places whether it’s Paddar valley or Zanskar or Kashmir valley which shows author’s detail research and awareness of surrounding area. It’s so amazing that I was feeling like watching a movie (secretly I searched for Paddar valley , Zanskar and I really loved those places 🙂 ). Story is so engrossing that you start making connection with protagonist -Ghulab Sahib.
Some beautifully crafted characters:
Ghulab Sahib – Journey of beautiful, charming 7 year girl to young girl with great knowledge, substance, experience and unparalleled strength is charismatic. People started referring her “Shehzadi” at one instance. Ghulab Sahib character is so amazing that you will start connecting yourself with her.
Ali Murtaza – Commander In Chief of Hizb ul-Mujahideen who is in-charge of all terrorist activities in Kashmir Valley. He is strong and ambitious which made him youngest commander in terrorist group.
Dolores – Brave and beautiful CNN journalist who comes as an angel in Ghulab Sahib’s life.
“Burning Sapphires” is simple and yet spellbinding. This novel covers dark side of Kashmir Valley – which shows reality, and bright side – which is completely fiction. Dark side of story, life journey of Ghulab Sahib from Paddar valley to Kashmir valley, character building & place description are plus points of novel. But in the end, author suddenly started showing resolution, wind-up so fast and ended with too positive (or too optimistic) result which is difficult to digest (though it is fiction) and story becomes weak. I have read “The Kite Runner“, “A Thousand Splendid Suns“, “And the Mountains Echoed” and “The Almond Tree” which covers dark side of world through journey of protagonist and which made those story remarkable. Little less optimistic end might have made this novel up to literature material.
Overall, “Burning Sapphires” is page turner. Go and Get it, You will not disappoint.
Note: I received a copy of book from author and I am very much thankful to Suresh to share such a beautiful novel.
During my long standing career as a professional Chief Executive and Managing Director of many multinationals in Africa and Middle East I had this passionate urge to write, especially about my experiences highlighting sensitive social issues that are manifested in the lives of millions of fellow human beings. But it took me to cross 60 years of my life to listen my inner self and it was at this point that I left whatever I was doing and took to creative writing. I wrote a couple of scripts and two years back I made my first independent film, converting one of my favorite scripts into an award winning feature film “Ziyarat” that earned ample awards and recognition across the globe. I made another award winning documentary “My Heroes” andI continued to write few other stories but concentrated on my book Burning Sapphires which was completed recently and published by Partridge, a Penguin company. In my mind I look forward to pen down many stories from the terror ridden Valley of Kashmir-a paradise lost, which happens to be my mother land.
More on : http://about.me/SureshKGoswami
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
– Lao Tzu
!!! Enjoy Reading !!!