Some stories make you cry, while others make you smile. Some leave you amazed, while others leave you wondering. This story makes you experience it all. There are tears, there are failures, there is love, there is maternal affection and at the end, the story leaves you with a smile.

A Knotty Affair is the story of Viraj and his struggles. His struggles start early on due to his weight and stammer. He tries to fit in and adapt with other classmates, but is ridiculed and laughed at all the time. Left with no friends, his only solace is his mother and her unflinching love and confidence in him. He joins college where his father teaches, strikes friendship with the beautiful and understanding Ruhi and falls in love. However, this little euphoria in his otherwise mundane life is short-lived when he realizes that it's a one sided relation which will not be reciprocated. 

A conspiracy shatters the small and cozy family. As they struggle to wade through it, a tragedy seems like the end of everything. Yet, they survive and thereafter starts Viraj's journey of countering his weaknesses and turning a new leaf in his life. He begins his life afresh but a strange turn of events make him stand face-to-face with Ruhi, and thus restarts the chapter of his life he thought was left far behind and forgotten. 

A Knotty Affair manifests human emotions beautifully. On one hand, there is a mother who stands by her son, no matter what, and there is a father who loves and wants the best for his child, but is unable to express it in words. Then, there is friendship and then love and commitment and the joy of seeing happiness in the eyes of those you love. This is what makes this story a true winner. 

The characters are well-sketched and the background makes them feel like they are people who live next door, those we see in and around every day, but are oblivious to their daily struggles. There is a sense of realism that pervades all through the story and that is precisely this novel's strength. Despite displaying and manifesting so many human emotions, the story is light and breezy. And that's its beauty.

A beautiful tale narrated equally well, this can well be in your next read in your list of something light yet very meaningful. 


With all the news in and around social as well as mainstream media, what happened in Kashmir in 1990 is no longer just a story. Its pain and agony is felt across generations. One can do justice to a story on the subject only if they've gone through it or seen it closely. This novel, named after the subject, reveals more about what happened before and after the tragic year of 1990 and how it affected scores of families for whom Kashmir was their home.

The story is that of a Kashmiri Pandit, Shiv, whose life turns upside down and everything looks bleak after his family is forced to leave Kashmir.  The family not only loses their home but also a family member and the pain and trauma they go through is immense. Slowly and steadily,   our protagonist regains his foothold after losing out briefly to wrong elements and bad habits. While he works towards his studies and attaining his degree, he also tries to find the lost elements of his life that got left behind in Kashmir, most importantly the girl he loved and longed to be with. The story even covers a bit of the Mumbai riots of 1993.

The two backdrops of this story are intense and the writer manages to reveal the pain and trauma through his pen.  The characters are sketched well and grow as the story advances. Though the story does not delve much into what exactly happened in 1990 and the massacre that happened then, it focuses more on how lives were affected and how families lost everything they called their home for generations.

Well written and fast paced, the story will go well with youngsters. If you're looking for a fresh story with real incidents, pick this one and you'll not be disappointed.