Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Painting hope amid darkness

Stories from South Asia are as much of diversity as they are of displacements and mounting discontents. And if it is Kashmir, it may well be of unending  disappearances. 
The same goes for the Northeast, the north and east of Sri Lanka. And the rest of the region. In her debut collection of short stories — False Sanctuaries: Stories from the Troubled Territories of South Asia — journalist-turned-writer Meenakshi Iyer threads the struggles of men and women of South Asia who face extraordinary obstacles in pursuing their ordinary dreams.
Set against the backdrop of India’s Partition, the first story ‘From Delhi to Derajat’, which covers only slightly less than half of the pages of the book, details a Hindu Punjabi man’s longing to go back to the place he called ‘home’ — others now call it Pakistan. With the help of his grandson, he ventures out of India in a ripe age only to romance with the past and to die in the company of those with whom he grew up.

False Sanctuaries: The Times Of India/India Today review

You cannot shun war and run away from the death and destruction that follows you. You cannot dodge the fear of terrorism, bomb blasts or a fidayeen. You cannot shut yourself to the latest round of intifada or Kani Jung, threatening to suck life out of your hinges.

You cannot avoid these things in the 21st century's new war zone - South Asia. Yet you live, smile, shake off the dust as if nothing happened and move on, braving all odds and, YOU are the hero of 'False Sanctuaries: Stories from the troubled territories of South Asia'.

Freelance journalist and South Asia observer Meenakshi Iyer's debut book is about people in this sub-continent who have kept their hopes alive in hopeless situations, who have failed, or have been failed by their governments, and have yet moved on, alone and undeterred, to face fresh threats awaiting them....


"My book is a celebration of hope"

I spoke to Jonathan Vikram Pradhan of Hindustan Times.com about my first book - False Sanctuaries: Stories from the Troubled Territories of South Asia. Click here to read the interview...