Hello dear fellow bloggers!
Today I am here with the book which I recently finished reading and was waiting for the time to put up its review. So here it is!
I finished reading a book titled Bombay Swastika by Braham Singh.
Think what it meant being a Jew in Nazi Germany. Then, read up on what happened to homosexuals. Simply adding the two together doesn’t do justice. For Jewish homosexuals, the persecution needs to be compounded – like Seth’s interest – to get at what lay in store. Reasonably good at math, Seigfried Steiger knew he was in for the compounded fucking of his life.
Bombay Swastika swings from a Nazi Berlin gearing up for its Final Solution, to 1964 Bombay, where Ernst Steiger, a German Jew, accidentally finds himself caught up in the murder of a young, tribal, killed amidst allegations of something being stolen from a secure American compound. With the monsoons laying siege on the city, the reader accompanies Ernst past Bombay’s refugee camps and haunted whorehouses; food shortages, textbook mafias, communist protest against American PL 480 Food Aid, and peculiar happenings at Indian nuclear facility; where Dr. Homi J. Bhabha, the nation’s atomic mastermind, gets drawn into a conspiracy hatched in his absence.
This one-of-a-kind thriller unfolds through the eyes of a motley cast – Salim Ali, the South Indian, Muslim engineer and committed Marxist; Bhairavi, the enigmatic and sensual refugee girl; Sethji, the dowry messiah; Testing Tufan – Homi Bhabha’s Smiling Buddha – dying from radiation exposure; and Andhi Ma, the blind mendicant who sees what we can’t.
Bombay Swastika is an exploration of the dark world of absolute truths.
The cover is something which really pulls you with its darkness and the streaks of red. It leaves you thinking and guessing. So, here’s the cover.
The storyline and plot are different from the regular writings in the Indian side these days. A thriller which brings out the dark side of the Nazis and the Marxist movements, is something we don’t see much. The protagonist is not a young, tall, dark, handsome kinda guy. He is an aging Jew who finds himself completely out of place – in Berlin as well as in India.
His world is filled with people who don’t care he is a Jew, for them he is a gora – a white skinned foreigner, and that’s enough to garner attention! Somehow things don’t seem to be going right for him while he tries to run his business in India, in Bombay to be exact. All this gets more dangerous, when he questions the police regarding a body they find and also becomes a witness to the murder of a young lad.
His questions and the only friend-companion-employer-engineer-advisor he has is Salim Ali, an unexpected partner who tries to help and solve his problems; but friendship with Ali always makes him end up rubbing the wrong kind of people in the wrong way! Where does this friendship take him? What is the reason that people seem to be waiting to draw the blood of a south Indian engineer?
The story is written in a very detailed manner. It shows how much research was done for it to take shape. Though at times the details seem to distract the thrill holding you. The characters are also well crafted and all their unfolding towards the ending is like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle fitting up! On the whole, a wonderful debut book and a thriller that keeps you engrossed all along!
I would give it a 4 star.
The thing which sometimes left me unamazed was the use of certain abusive words. I understand it is a common scene in most parts of the country and maybe even across the world, but these words kind of put me off. Certain Hindi abuses do make one go pale, and reading them in English isn’t something I prefer. And that is totally a personal opinion. No offence to anyone!! 😅😅
So what are you all writing these days? How many of you working on your manuscripts? What are you reading? Do share!
Lots of love and best wishes,