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Gujarat riots continue to haunt Indians

The communal violence that rocked Gujarat in 2002 has not only left a black mark in the history of the State which gave birth to Mahatma Gandhi, but also threatens to create inroads into peace and harmony between communities and people of varied faiths.

While the initial incident lasted no more than three days, its adverse effects spread to other parts of the State and in a sense to many other regions across the country as well. Moderate Indians and those with a heart for future generations hope that good sense will prevail and prevent recurrence of similar incidents.

Scholarly articles and commentaries abound the literary world and cyber space but a novel has captured the essence of the riots.

Compelling Book

‘A Half-Baked Life’ by Pranesh Prasad, alumni of the University of Auckland (currently residing in Canberra, Australia), would impel most perpetrators of violence to search their souls and seek the truth. Against the background of violence in the society, he has created a novel that narrates the life of a youngster, torn between his love for a woman and the ‘dangerous connections’ that she has in her own family.

I have not read the Book yet but a summary says that ‘A Half-Baked Life’ embarks the young man (Sid) on a journey from Australia to India, pursuing his lover (Ankita).

“In doing so, he is thrust into a journey which involves dealing with the consequences arising from the 2002 Gujarat riots, politicians, human trafficking, his demons and the recent whittling down of the right to free expression.”

Literary Festival

The novel was launched at the Lucknow Literary Festival on February 1, 2014 at which Mr Prasad was a panel member and moderator.

Earlier, he attended the Hyderabad Literary Festival (January 24 to 26) and spoke on the Indian Diaspora including the community in New Zealand.

His first novel, ‘The Ultimate Laugh,’ released at the ‘Ubud Writers & Readers Festival’ 2011.

A Half-Baked Life by Pranesh Prasad

Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd

268 Pages; RRP US$ 8 through Amazon; otherwise $US24

pranesh_prasad@yahoo.com

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