I read Rahul Pandita’s Hello Bastar on 14th August 2012. I can never forget how I felt after reading the book. Disgusted to the core, I felt sad for the people who weren’t lent any ears by authorities back then and look what they have become now. It happens everywhere where people and their problems are royally ignored. We have seen it in the past, we are seeing it currently and I am sure we are going to see it in the future as well when these things will totally run out of control.
When I first got to know about “Our Moon Has Blood Clots” and read its blurb, I was like, Oh My God! I had heard and read a couple of things about exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in the 90s. But when I read this memoir by Rahul Pandita where he has poured his heart out about everything that he and his family faced during those times, my heart flinched countless times while reading this book.
This gripping memoir by Rahul Pandita takes you to the times when he was 14 years old. Carefree and living in his own little world. He and his family were living in their house with 22 rooms. His father had put in all his savings in building his dream house and loved every bit of it. How conditions changed in no time and how Islamist militants forced almost 3,50,000 Kashmiri Pandits to leave their roots and made them live in an exile all their lives. Countless people were tortured and killed, don’t know how many women were treated barbarically, and people who survived through all this mayhem, how it has affected their lives. Rahul Pandita’s words touch that raw part of your heart which you just don’t want to expose to the world.
In one part of this book, Rahul’s uncle tells about the times when Pathans attacked Kashmir in 1947 and how he and his family survived to that act of barbarism. His own son, Rahul’s cousin Ravi was killed brutally by militants. The woes of a father whose young innocent son got killed for no reason could be clearly felt from his words. He has constantly battled all his life right from when he was a young boy till now.
Also, there is one part in the book where Rahul Pandita visits his only home on the earth in Kashmir. Visiting his old roots after the mayhem. There are other people living in his house and the introduction he gave about himself when he was asked, who is he, makes you feel so bad about him. The words just pierce through your heart and you wonder how he must have felt while saying all those things.
I don’t know how should I end this review. All I can say is, before keeping anything else in the focus, realise the fact that we all are humans first and should act accordingly. Kashmir is still a hostile place to live in, beautiful yet hostile as we all know. I hope and wish that people living there shouldn’t face something what Pandita and his family had to face in the past.
Book Source : Publisher
Publisher : Vintage Books, Random House India
Genre : Non Fiction, Memoir
ISBN : 978-81-8400-087-0