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An Isolated Incident

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L has a peaceful life but he wants to know the truth that he is being kept from by his parents Amman and Shehla the truth about his freedom fighter grandfather Abdullah Nabi This ltimately takes him to Kashmir to train with the Mujahideen and the whole experience is affected by global relations between various nationsAttention to detailsBe it Kashmir Pakistan Afghanistan or USA the author has clearly made efforts to make the description as realistic as possible From Zari s encounter with Indian army men to cultural shock in US all have been incorporated effortlessly in the narrative Not just the physical aspect but also philosophical psychological cultural and geo political elements strongly enhance the story The following passage about freedom fighters give a good idea about author s command over these elementsPage 27She watched through the window as the intruders having stuffed themselves with breakfast and packed the leftovers walked out the driveway and disappeared into the morning mist as if they were college boys stooped with books and thoughts and not weapons and a cause Militants Guerrillas Insurgents Freedom Fighters Zari didn t even know what to call them any She remembered a time when they d invoke safety not terror A time when they d genuinely belonged to Kashmir when they had been indigenous fighters and not men overtaken by foreign forces with agendas of their own to push Now their knocks whether in a remote village or in her pper middle class neighborhood were met with curses and their forced recruitment with suicides No one knew which group was knocking native or outsides asli or nali real or impostor Which group will shoot you for sheer practice sheer sport sheer rage at someone or some other situation that the laws of transference had delivered to your doorThese fighters once rising to fix what was broken in the land now a part of the shards themselves breaking apart as they were into different groups fighting for supremacy amongst themselves some pro independence some pro Pakistan some nder the Indian government s counter insurgency payroll and some neither for nor against just that it felt good to be powerful thanks to the gun in their hands the gun that enabled them to bleed each other for different goals although the end results were identical injecting misery into the lives of ordinary Kashimri citizensWhile story in Pakistan is not that descriptive the feel of the land and culture is good It is rather nclear how Zari reaches Pakistan Kashmir and USA have been described in detail and the culture of both locations oozes from the pages as the author illustrates the neighborhoods shops people behavior relations and expectations Lifestyle is similarly covered and an illustration on media s role provides stark image how narrative is affected the way things are describedPage 228Billy sat absolutely still If he moved he would fall If he looked at anyone s face he would crack If he allowed himself to crack he would die Everyone rose for the last prayers of the day and Billy rose too stumbling through the prayers through the words the motions Nothing virulent had ever been shown at any meeting back home and even the media made sure that death and destruction were cleansed of guts and gore A fence lined with teddy bears and ribbons and flowers represented hit and run Shocked neighbors represented the body of a murder victim A camera panning the outside of a house represented the lair of a serial killer War too was sanitised Soldiers returned in flag draped coffins while battlefields were marked with cenotaphs and bereft relatives looking away from the camera into sombre skies Nothing like this continuous footage of carnage Billy has just been force fedThese and many such passages throughout the novel exemplify the realities touched pon time and again to make sense of the world Zari and Billal were now living in Most of these are brutally honest holding wide spectrum of realities threaded through conflicting cultures and making sense of a mess that otherwise eludes the common person One example is Fahad s family when they visit Zari and bring their grandmother along The authority of grandmother how her approval of Zari despite knowing her background leaves the family powerless despite an American pbringingSome of the areas were not so well detailed A particular example that stands out is Billal s trip from Peshawar into Afghanistan Although vivid the description of his journey lacked the x factor which is apparent in other description of other areasSince the story takes place in the 90s at one point Salsabil asks Zari to email her the grocery list Although email systems such as Yahoo and Hotmail were becoming common it is nclear if it was part of lifestyle to regularly check emails at work Also right after emailing the list Zari searches Rape terms and is disgusted by the results and images she finds It should be noted that during 90s the search engine freuently sed was Yahoo and porn or rape 90s the search engine freuently sed was Yahoo and porn or rape was not something easily available over the internet How Zari easily find them and which search engine she The Lisa Book used is not explainedNationhood Safety Irrational LoveKashmir is the central point in this novel The love for the land and for the people has led people in various directions It is a source of pride nationhood as well as irrational love Zari s father loved the land so much it bordered on madness and that irrational love endedp with the death of the Zoon family Mauj Ji sister of Amman s father loved the land irrationally her own life ruined as a result Nearly every Kashmiri experienced irrational love of one kind or the otherPain loss suffering dominate the lives of Kashmiris living in Kashmir and painful memories for those who migrated abroad Those who moved abroad settled for a life of peace and safety a far cry from their experiences back home Amman s description argument aptly sums it Genesis upPage 173Nullify differences ignore them celebrate them find a balance this is the new trick the old dog must learn if it is not to blow itselfp I just do not believe that breaking countries Amber, Furs and Cockleshells up on communal or religious or ethnic lines will lead to theltimate happiness of all those involved I like to believe that diverse people can live together as long as law and order and justice are meted out eually But then again Amman said I live in the United States of America I must believe in thisIn similar fashion Amman also deals with realities of life where idealism failsPage 174Let me tell you Amman sat Rebels Guide to Rosa Luxemburg up The end of insurgency does not necessarily means a government better than the one being resisted It does not mean an end to the bribery and corruption that are rampant in state systems it does not mean the institution of measures to reign in poverty or programs to teach ex freedom fighters a profession Instead thesensung heroes as I am sure you d like to call them are left high and dry with no education and no practical skills to support themselves and their families in the new world with its changed order Eventually these discontented men either turn to overthrowing the very establishment they helped put into place or else they turn to Crime Because Crime Pays Better because crime pays better some menial back breaking reward less jobLook at me Billal Amman stares into Billy s eyes Freedom fighters don t get medals they don t get any honours My mother made sure I The Christian at Mass understand that and I will make sure you do too before you get caughtp in romancing an exaggerated idealisation of a lieStrong feelings and emotions about loss are expressed at various points and they are not limited to Kashmir alone At one place when Shehla s brother and his wife Barbara come to stay for a few days Zari inuires about the loss of Barbara s son to which she replies in heart felt wordsPage 287Children whose parents die are called orphans but there is no such word for parents who have lost their children Omissions like that Sunce je počelo da se zlati used to frighten me As if the world was Godless just because my language was incompleteKashmiris to the coreMost of the characters in the novel are Kashmiris though there are sizeable number of non Kashmiri people the reader comes across They all share a sense of longing and belonging cultural confusion search for peace and safety camaraderie and a sense of loss that has evolved with the passage of time The people are very real with problems aspirationseries opinions and stigmasZari. Who have offered to give her a temporary home to help her stitch back the tatters of her lifeBilly Nabi fiercely tender hearted longs to help Zari but the choices he makes will jeopar. I was gifted a free eARC of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest revieweARC electronic Advanced Readers Copy This review also posted on my blog TWs rape murder of family self harm violence freedom fightersterrorism An Isolated Incident by Soniah Kamal tells the story of Zari Zoon a Muslim Kashmiri girl who loses her family in a terrible act of violence perpetrated by a group with ハリー・ポッターと賢者の石 (ハリー・ポッターシリーズ unknown affiliation and for reasonsnknown As such from the start this is a heavy book to read Fortunately I m not one to shy away from books that address difficult topics and I knew very little about Kashmir so I was intrigued from the start As the book goes on the situation Kashmir is in becomes clearer with Pakistan and India fighting over the territory while a third faction fights for Kashmir s independence Zari however is left with nothing in her home nation having lost her extended family friend and fiance in the same horrific incident She ends p moving to America having been offered a home by the Nabis friends of Zari s family where much of the story takes placeWhile a lot of this story takes place in America Kashmir remains present throughout in many different ways The scenes that take place in Kashmir build a great image of a war torn country juxtaposing family life with the violence and destruction caused by the struggle for power The images of Kashmir are haunting and devastating While this book is about Kashmir the violence that occurs there in the fight for control over the region is certainly not niue and knowing these things have happened and continue to happen across the world filled me with horror Kamal builds an incredibly powerful image of Kashmir one that I am sure will stay with me for a long timeWhile this book is nable to offer any hope or redemption for Kashmir in an ongoing power struggle there is hope and redemption to be found for individuals Zari and Billy the son of the Nabis the central characters both experience severe trauma throughout the course of the book The depiction of mental health issues in this book was really sensitively dealt with and it also addressed the cultural stigma that came along with these issues for the characters The culture around shame and purity came into play a lot in this novel due to the trauma Zari goes through and I loved that the younger generation were really fighting against these stigmas and the older generation were also able to move past the stigmas and accept Zari The conflict the older generation had around this was really interesting to me While they take Zari in and treat her kindly and appear to reserve judgement they are shown to have internalised stigmas attached to rape victims This internalisation is something that crops p throughout the novel and is something that the characters work towards overcomingThe characters in this book were really complex well written characters Even the supporting characters feel really well drawn out and there s a lot of character development and even a nice bit of character regression throughout the book that kept me on my toes Zari as the protagonist did really stand out as did Billy but Billy s sister Salsabil also really stood out to me as did Fahad and Billy s aunt Babara Even the least likeable of characters were still captivating The stories and secrets that gradually From Mistress to Wifey unravel throughout the book family secrets kept hidden away adds to the complexity of the narrative and makes for some amazing character development45 starsContinue reading on my blogThis review also posted on The StoryGraph and NetGalley Wonderful writing well developed characters and a much needed focus on some geopolitical issues that are rarely covered in fiction Kamal s writing is exuisite in places bringing alive Kashmir as well as life in America Strongly recommended The story with Kashmir as its backdrop starts off really well Having seen the Bollywood flick Haider recently I could really visualise what Zari Zoon her family were going thought and the situation in Kashmir It is when Zari reaches USA and the focus of the story shifts from her mourning or even healing to the Nabi s that the plot just became average The ending was super predictable honestly and seemed like I was rereading another version of Hunger Games Katniss Everdeen stopian finale An Isolated Incident follows the life of Zari Zoon a Kashmiri girl She could the girl next door with a typical life and typical problems even while living Disney Infinity: Character Encyclopedia under the threat of terrorism at all times That isntil an incident changes her life forever and she is sent abroad for a new beginning But the new life and the journey towards it could tangle p Zari s life yet againFirst and most important element of this book is towards it could tangle p Zari s life yet againFirst and most important element of this book is character of Zari She belongs to Kashmir a state nder the constant threat of terrorism Even With Everything Going On everything going on her she manages to build a somewhat normal life for herself only for it to be snatched away from her She then embarks pon a new life in a new place yet the threat never really goes away Zari is such a character that you cannot help but feel for The author has done an admirable job in building her A White Slave in Turkey Book 1 - A BDSM Novel up and portraying her life Then there is Billy with his own fair share of baggage Billy s character could do with a bit of polish and fine tuning I failed to connect with this character and his decisionsThe plot in itself is another fantastic element that includes a lot of issues For instance it givess a look into the lives of the Kashmiris in general It also includes a glimpse into the world of a girl who is seuestered by a sadly enough a very common incident and it makes you wonder about our society that is such an expert at victimizing the victims The author has done an incredible job of portraying the situations without pointing fingers or sounding preachy There were twists and turns in the novel that were easy to spot and though the ending was 1898 uite predictable too it was really interesting to take this journey with ZariThis is a well written novel with crisp language and detailed narratives The author has set the book in multiple locations and each come with enough description so as to help the readers imagination It was also a refreshing change from reading the commercial love stories that flood the Indian markets constantlyOverall this was one hell of an emotional roller coaster ride that wrenches your heart First published at Digital SaeenPublished in 2014 An Isolated Incident by Soniah Kamal is an English novel with incredible depth about the lives of Kashmiris both inside Kashmir and outside and how their plight is forgotten in the tussle between between India and Pakistan for the region The story takes place during the 90s in Kashmir Pakistan Afghanistan and USABliss Vs Knowledge18 year old Zari Zoon is living with family in IoK Indian Occupied Kashmir where her sister Kiran comes to visit bringing her son Baz as well from Dubai Zari remembers a time when she could move around freely but now military and police are everywhere and it s no longer safe Her best friend Sonea often visits and share both good and bad times Zari s family gets a surprise visit during the night where they are bundled into a room by freedom fighters who leave in the morning Few days later when Zari s fiance Imran comes for a visit from Australianknown men murder the whole family including Imran and Sonea and Gang Rape ZariShe Survives rape ZariShe survives a bullet wound and lifetime s worth of terrifying memories She goes to her aunt s place in Rawalpindi Pakistan but doesn t find peace Finally she is sent to distant relations place in USA the Nabis Amman and Shahla are very accommodating Kashmiri couple who take Zari in Night of the Werewolf (Choose Your Own Nightmare, until she heals Their own children Billal and Salsabil are close to Zari s age with an American lifestyle but while Billal is brooding for being denied the history of Nabi family back in Kashmir Salsabil has wholeheartedly embraced American life The youngest sibling is Miraag 4 year old who reminds Zari of her nephew BazThe story primarily follows Zari s perspectiventil she reaches USA and from there it switches between Zari and the Nabis a lot Billal and Zari are the protagonist of the story each with a history in Kashmir and Billal tries to find that which Zari is trying to forget Zari has memories memories so painful she has to cut herself to bear memories she wants to forget and get over Billa. Zari Zoon a vivacious girl from Kashmir is looking forward to marrying her fiance when tragedy strikes Next thing she know she is on a plane to America to stay with distant relatives. ,
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Is a broken orphan girl trying to mend itself in a foreign land and culture Billal is in love with the idea of freedom and freedom fighters Amman has blocked out previous life in order to peacefully live in the USA Shehla does not want her children to suffer what she and her elders suffered Salsabil is practical and bold person who doesn t skip a beat to call spade a spade Various other people they interact with have their own lives and motivations and they have been meticulously describedAmman s character one of the major characters is fleshed out after nearly half the book is done Compared to others he really has an interesting past that lends credence to his current behavior as a father and son of a freedom fighterMost of the perspective is through Zari eyes while Billal s life takes dominance for the last Lay My Burden Down uarter of the novel We also get to see the world through Shehla and Amman s perspective though not for long periods At some places sometimes within the same paragraph the perspective shifts between the characters and it reuires a double take to make sure which character are we looking throughBlunt and HonestSoniah Kamal hassed simple and straight forward words to describe incidents and events involving the reader with whatever was happening in the story Where ideas and philosophy was Vérité (Love at Center Court, used there is a complete absence of flowery language The words aresed with brutal honesty hitting the nail on the head at every turn Words of Urdu as well as Kashmiri are incorporated efficiently within the narrative without breaking the flow and are followed by their meaningsCultural references are skilfully placed proving the author s knowledge and Beyond the Qumran Community understanding of various places The dialogues are well crafted and words spoken are authentic enough to highlight general mindset of the character Salsabil was blunt Billal too idealistic Shehla being practical Zariite introverted and Amman conflictedFinal VerdictThis is the first novel on Kashmir that is capable of irking everyone around the line of control be they Pakistanis Indians or Kashmiris Perhaps there in lies the path to better Daniels Pet understand each other An Isolated Incident is not so isolated as it covers lives of Kashmiris across the globe Albeit slow it s a must read novel to betternderstand the plight of Kashmir and Kashmiris A one time read With extremely confused and immature characters this is definitely not a great coming of age novel that I am sure the author intended for This is a great book for our times and for any time Author s language is a sheer delight The exploration of tragedy is deep and meaningful not suffering from the Losing Control usual sketchiness a rare find The love story is drawn with gentle watercolors worthy of akiyo e The way Soniah Kamal describes how bookish philosophy meets the lightning speed and hurricane strength of life is nothing short of striking and gives a lot of food for thought Recommended to anybody who wants a deeper look into the human soul and its world I haven t read the works of many Pakistani authors but for me An Isolated Incident was a Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep (light novel) uniue experience As someone whose family can trace its roots to Kashmir i found myself relating to the characters in the nove An Isolated Incident by Soniah Kamal was recommended to me by a friend whose judgement I trust 100% when it comes to book recommendations I bought this book based on that recommendation and dove right in without reading any reviews or even the story description on the online ordering page If my trusted advisers say a book is good I like to dive in with no preconceived notions or expectations and just be surprised This book definitely surprised me in a very good way An Isolated Incident is a love story that revolves around the cultural and political lives of people transplanted from Kashmir to the United States It s a story of pain heartbreak redemption and cultural identity And if I had read those two previous sentences prior to getting the book I probably wouldn t have read it I m glad I went in blindThe first thing that struck me was the beauty of the prose I ve been reading e books almost exclusively about five years now and I ve gottenite PHILIPPINES 1/1M3 used to being able to highlight passages that I find beautiful clever andor inspiring I read this one in paperback and was frustrated that I didn t have a highlighter handy This is an extremely highlighter worthy novelThe second thing I noticed was that I was hooked veryickly I was immediately drawn into Zari s vividly depicted world and when tragedy befell her early in the book I grieved was immediately drawn into Zari s vividly depicted world and when tragedy befell her early in the book I grieved with her It s nusual for me to make that kind of connection with a character that early in the bookAfter Zari went to the US to live with some family friends I expected her to fall in love and slowly be drawn from her self imposed emotional isolation so for a few chapters I thought I was reading something slowly be drawn from her Self Imposed Emotional Isolation imposed emotional isolation for a few chapters I thought I was reading something but predictable Then Kamal surprised me by giving nexpected levels of depth and humanity to each of the supporting characters while providing stunning detail of places customs and cultures about which I was completely ignorantThe most interesting thing to me was the way the author wove complex political issues and rich historical detail into the story without every breaking the smooth driving pace What s The Angel Intrudes (1918) unlike most books that involve Middle Eastern history and politics and issues of cultural identity I didn t feel that there was a clear agenda here There was no Team A is good and Team B is bad and America should support Team A for these reasons An Isolated Incident left me feeling both extremely knowledgeable and extremely conflicted There are no easy answers for theses characters real life counterparts and Kamal didn t sugarcoat reality or manipulate history to create a satisfyingly neat endingIn the end An Isolated Incident is a story about courage Courage to change courage to accept harsh realities courage to heal and courage to love I m glad I had the courage to go into this book with no expectations I am definitely richer for the experience I ll be honest the only reason I bought this novel was because it was autographed That was it I had no idea what the novel was aboutntil I started reading itThe story started off pretty strong Zari Zoon lives in Occupied Kashmir where her family is murdered She is traumatized and moves in with her Chachu who lives in Delhi and then with her Khala in Rawalpindi Pakistan in the hope that a change in environment might help her recover It doesn t and so she is sent to America where an extended family agrees to accommodate her in the hope that she ll recuperate from the severe depression Now I loved the start the prose was elouent the story was building Clarions Call up nicely I could see a Khaled Hosseini touch if you will in the story It all went terribly wrong from there on The writer it seemed lost the plot completely The story was about Zari not the Nabi s and that is exactly what happened The focus shifted from the main character towards the Nabi s Half way through I didn t want to read the book any From a story that had the potential to become the next Kite Runner it turned into something painfully stupid The series of events that took place were neither believable nor interesting Characters weren t strong enough they came out as confused the love story was bland and ridiculous This story was to be about Kashmir the perpetrated atrocities that have been a constant in the lives of the people living in the area but it wasn t about any of that This story is actually about a highlynexceptional daft senseless and egotistic boy who pities people and then tries to help them That s itAlso one of the major problems that I have with Pakistani writers is that they always feel the need to impart their brand of wisdom into the story In the case of this book it went badly and it didn t make any sense at allAll in all this was a story that had the potential to become a Pakistani literary masterpiece but sadly for me it turned out to be just another story that I ll forget On a side noteThis is the first time that I have come across a book that was not proofread properly There were way too many grammatical mistakes for example on page 207 it says Billy waved then away and I can point a dozen others similar to this These are the kind of mistakes that are so obvious that they should have been taken out by the publisher but they weren t A very dismal job done indeed. Dise them allAn Isolated Incident is a story of haunting memories and yearnings of a home lost of a faith continuously tested and estioned and of a love that blossoms against all odd. .