‘A Love Story for My Sister’ by Jaishree Misra

THIS IS A HEART- TEARING NOVEL BY JAISHREE MISRA, WHICH ACTUALLY IS A NOVEL IN THE NOVEL AS THERE ARE TWO SEPARATE HEART WRENCHING STORIES OF TWO 18 YEAR OLD GIRLS, WHO HAD BEEN KIDNAPPED AND MURDERED DURING CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES. THE INCIDENTS WHICH BROKE TO THESE TWO GIRLS ARE ALMOST SIMILAR, BUT AMAZINGLY THE INCIDENTS HAPPENED WITHIN A BREAK OF EXCTLY 140 YEARS, WHICH MEANS ONE INCIDENT HAPPENED DURING THE 1857 UPRISING IN CAWNPORE (KANPUR) AND THE OTHER BROKE IN 1947 IN DELHI. THE TWO GIRLS WERE NAMED AS MARGARET WHEELER (1857) AND TARA FERNANDEZ(1997). COINCIDENTALLY THEY BOTH BECAME VICTIMS OF STOLCKHOLM SYNDROME. PIA FERNANDEZ ,SISTER OF TARA IS A PRESENT DAY NOVELIST RESEARCHES AND GETS INTEREST IN MARGARET’S STORY BECAUSE SHE FINDS COUNTLESS SIMILARITIES IN HER STORY WITH HER SISTER’S AND WRITES A NOVEL ON MARGARET.

MARGARET WHEELER WAS THE DAUGHTER OF GENERAL HUGH WHEELER WHO SUFFERED A LOT DURING THE 1857 UPRISING AND WAS BETRAYED AND FINALLY KILLED AT THE TIME BY THE MEN ON WHOM HE BELIEVED MORE THAN HE DID ON HIMSELF. DURING THE UPRISING HE THOUGHT OF TAKING HIS MEN AS WELL AS THEIR FAMILIES TO ANOTHER SAFER PLACE FROM CAWNPORE AS HE WAS THE HEAD OF ALL . BUT AS HE WAS GOING TO DO THIS ACT HE WAS KILLED AND HIS DAUGHTER AND OTHER YOUNG GIRLS WERE CAPTURED BY SOME MUSLIMS. THE TREATMENT THE OTHER MEMBERS GOT WAS MUCH WORSE THAN THIS KIDNAPPING AS ALL WERE KILLED IN THE SATICHAURA MASSACRE. MARGARET WAS CAPTURED BY A MUSLIM, NAMED AS NIZAM KHAN BUT SHE WAS SAFE IN HIS HANDS AS HE BECAME HER RESCUER RATHER THAN HER CAPTOR BECAUSE HE LOVED MARGARET AND SHE ALSO GOT A SECRET CRUSH ON HIM. AFTER THE UPRISING THEY BOTH MARRIED EACH OTHER AND MARGARET ADOPTED ISLAM RELIGION AND BECAME MEHRUNNISA AND REMAINED THE SAME IN HER REST OF THE LIFE. BUT, AS SHE WAS A TRUE ENHLISH SHE DID NOT STOP DREAMING ABOUT HER CANTONMENT, WHERE SHE LIVED EARLIER AND FRIENDS EVEN THOUGH SHE LOVED NIZAM IMMENSELY. SHE USED TO READ ENGLISH NEWSPAPERS AND THE LETTERS WHICH SHE RECEIVED FROM HER FRIENDS BUT HID FROM NIZAM. BUT, NIZAM CAME TO KNOW ABOUT ALL THESE AND TRAGICALLY, THEIR LOVE STORY CAME TO AN END, AND HE LEFT A WOULD BE MOTHER. EVEN AFTER ALL THESE HE DREAMT OF MARGARET ALWAYS AS HE LOVED HER.

THIS IS HOW PIA FINISHES THE NOVEL ON MARGARET. ON THE OTHER HAND PIA NARRATES GER OWN SISTER’S STORY WHO WAS KIDNAPPED BY DUO IN A VERY DREADFUL WAY, AND IN THE SAME WAY AS IN THE CASE OF MARGARET ONE OF HER CAPTOR HIMAL BECAME HER RESCUER AND TOOK HER TO THE EYE- SLASHING HILLS OF KUMAON AND STARTED TO DEAL WITH ALL ORDEALS WHICH TARA WAS TOTALLY UNAWARE OF. BUT SHE LEARNED EVERYTHING AND STARTED TO ENJOY HER FORCE FREE LIFE. SHE DID NOT CONTACT HER PARENTS FOR FOUR MONTHS AS SHE REALLY ENJOYED HER LIFE ON THE HILL TOP. SHE FINALLY CONTACTED HER PARENTS ON THE DAY OF HER EIGHTEENTH BIRTHDAY. SHE LASTLY DECIDED TO RETURN HER HOME ALONG WITH HIMAL AS SHE STARTED FALLING FOR HIMAL AND HE ALSO LOVED HER. BUT, UNFORTUNATELY THEIR LOVE STORY ALSO CAME TO AN END AS THEY WERE MURDERED BY AN ANONYMOUS ON THE WAY OF THEIR DESTINATION. THEY DID NOT EVEN GET A CHANCE TO GIVE A GENUINE RESULT TO THEIR UNKNOWN RELATIONSHIP. 

SO, THIS IS HOW PIA CONNECTED THEIR INCIDENT-CUM- TRAGEDIES WHICH HAPPENED TO TWO 18 YEAR OLDS WHO SUFFERED WORSE AND COULD NOT OVERCOME THE HURDLES OF LIFE. LIFE, SOCIETY AND WE, HUMANS SNATCHED ALL THEIR HAPPINESS OF WHICH THEY WERE GUARNTEED BY THE JUDGE OF ALL, THE ALMIGHTY . LIFE GIVES 100 REASONS TO CRY BUT WE SHOULD ALWAYS SAY WE HAVE 1000 REASONS TO SMILE. ALL THE WORDS OF THE BOOK SOUNDS LIKE AN ALARM WHICH IS TRYING TO WAKE US SO THAT WE CAN DO JUSTICE. IT ALSO PROVIDES RAYS OF HOPE, HAPPINESS, FAITH AND LOVE.

Reviewed by Raima Ghatak

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