Bombay Swastika by Braham Singh- Review
India and Germany, two nations that had practically nothing in common. Braham singh has linked the two nations with Swastika symbol through the real life story of Ernst Steiger. Ernst, whose father bid adieu to his life by slitting his wrists and mother succumbed to cancer. Ernst however did not let himself fall prey to the injustices life had subjected him to. The plot begins with the murder of a Sikh driver who allegedly stole something for which police chased him and shot him on his head. Next day his charred body is revived from the fertiliser factory. His helper boy meets a pathetic end amidst the strike, slogans and hubbub between the Marxists and local Marathas. Ernst is dragged into the scenario since he was present at the murder site of Arjun.
The story could not be elaborated further since it might serve as a spoiler. One after the other happenings makes the reader engaged but story-line is not the highlight of the book. What served as the icing on the cake is the character crafts. Each character is unique, fresh and portrayed in such manner that the reader would be forced to match them with someone they know eventhough the story takes place in another era. Salim, Arjun, Sethji, Tufan, Andhi ma- Every character is given the due space along with Ernst. His parents and wife who doesn’t come directly in the picture are given their space as well. Author has impeccably interwoven the history an fiction. The Himalayan Blunder ( Indo-China war), Dr. Homi J Baba, Mohammed Ali Jinnah etc are dragged into the fiction without skewing the facts.
Before commencing the reading spree I would like to give an invective alert for the readers, which could be visible if you get to read the blurb, which in turn could be reasonable considering the kind of topic dealt with but after a point, it goes overboard. The first half of the book is interesting and fast paced but towards the second half, the pattern of narration becomes monotonous but the suspense behind the stolen bag keep the readers going. With a little rework for maintaining the focus on the plot the book could be in another level. Nevertheless author has covered it up with the narration but for the expletives.
This review is in return of a free book from the publisher (http://www.ombooksinternational.com/)