Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Book review- Riot by Shashi Tharoor

Who killed Priscilla Hart? This is the question that is thrown into the readers' minds by Shashi Tharoor right from the start of the novel. Priscilla is the 24 year old American student whose work brings her to Zaligarh, a small town in Uttar Pradesh. Riot receives its rightful title from the Hindu Muslim riot which has been witnessed in India during 1989.

But more than concentrating only on the reasons for the Riot, Shashi Tharoor weaves in it a beautiful love story as well. Was Priscilla murdered by chance or was it a deliberate one by someone? These questions rush through our minds while reading the book. Priscilla comes to India for the project of educating women on Family planning. Is her death the outcome of an enraged Husband?

Lakshaman is the main character in the book other than Priscilla, the District Magistrate. What starts off as simply an affair evolves into something deeper, changing the lives of all around them.

Shashi Tharoor writes beautifully, from the point of all the characters involved in the Riot. From Priscilla's scarp book to Lakshman's journal to the conversation between her parents who are divorced and who come one last time to India to see the place where their daughter has lived her last few days.

Was she simply at the wrong place at the wrong time? "We are where we are at the only time we have. Perhaps its where we are meant to be". This is my most favourite line from the book and it still stays with me even after closing the last few pages. This book is certain to create an emotional disturbance somewhere in the corners of your heart.

I would definitely reccomend this one for all. It may not be a light read, but it it is one definitely worth reading. This is the only book of Shashi Tharoor that I have read and it leaves me wanting to read his other works as well. Definitely a must read for all and it promises to make you see the riots happening all over India in a new light.

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