Title : Operation Jai Mata Di
Author : Pratik Shah
Genre : Fiction
In a daring midnight operation by armed men, over 10,000 pilgrims are taken hostage en route to the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi, a popular Himalayan religious-tourist destination in the troubled state of Jammu & Kashmir in Northern India. The hostage-takers threaten to shoot pilgrims every day, unless the incumbent Government accedes to their demands.
With the largest Hindu festival of Diwali just around the corner and elections less than six months away, the Government at the center is under immense pressure to act. What will the Government do? The army? The intelligence agencies? The common man?
No terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Who are these men? Is there a larger plot? Faced with such unprecedented events, will the country descend into unimaginable anarchy or will it rise above the issues of collective apathy and greed that have plagued it since Independence?
WHAT I FELT ABOUT THE BOOK
Story-line: Interesting and absorbing!
When I started off with the book I expected it to be the same old saga of terrorists taking innocent people hostage to meet their selfish ends, a whirlwind of negotiations, much acrimony followed by bloodbath and finally the climax. However ‘Operation Jai Mata Di’ was a pleasant surprise. It was a welcome change from the routine run-of-the-mill terrorist stories dished out by many an Indian author with the bad boys being men across the border i.e. neighbouring Pakistan. Here the so-called ‘terrorists’ are different both in terms of nationality and their mission. One only wonders whether such a situation will indeed be a reality. If it does really happen, it could be one of India’s worst nightmares. Yet, if the same could lead to what happens in the book, I for one surely look forward to it for the nightmare is worth the result.
Language: Simple, crisp and lucid making the book an enjoyable read.
Climax: Something to look out for.
Pace : Slow at first resulting in the interest wavering at times. However, after the initial few pages the story slowly gained momentum and from thereon it became truly interesting and absorbing
Editing : Could have been tighter.
BEFORE WRAPPING UP
A few lines about the author: Inspired by the CIA-KB cold war, Pratik Shah wrote his first quarter novella a story about a Russian agent named Sekakova landing in the USA and engaging in espionage activities, at the tender age of 13. An avid blogger and writer Pratik Shah has traveled widely. ‘Operation Jai Mata Di’ is his debut novel.
To visit his website click HERE
Recommendation & Rating: Overall an enjoyable read I will give this 3.5 on a scale of 5