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256 pages, Published January 1st 2009 by Random House
And if around sunset they saw streaks of scarlet in the sky, they said “There has been a murder somewhere. When a man is killed, the sky turns red.”
This impacted me in such a way. An old man and a kid, talking about sunset, why does it have to be so violent? Well, it got me thinking and when I came across the same quote much further in the book, after the author had explained all the atrocities the people there suffered. The pain, the torture, the constant paranoia, losing faith, losing homes, it was overwhelming, it was painful to read. And not just because they were talking against the country I live in, and the Army we glorify, it was because it’s a memoir. And while I did doubt that the author might be full of hatred or was biased, while reading it, I did believe it to be the truth.
“What about the book?”
Father had built his library over years, each book had his name and a book number on the first page in either his scrawly handwriting or mother’s much neater letters.
His books were the books of a self-taught man, the books that had shaped him, helped him build his life, that made him stand out when he talked about worlds and ideas that only few men in our world could talk about.
The writer moved to Delhi, to study, get a job, and be where it is safer but was it? His first day there and he saw Muslims being killed. He comes back to his hometown and goes and meets people who have lost everything or atleast someone. If those passages and memories don’t move your soul, then you are heartless. They describe in detail the torture, the killings, those might be just names and words on paper to you but that was their life.
While in the start of the book, author explains how full of hatred he was about India. Cheering for Pakistan in cricket matches, basically against India, no matter who they were playing with, the book does end on a happy note. Curfewed night gave me the details on history of Kashmir that I never knew before. It taught me not to take the peace for granted. And for that I am thankful.