“One reason why the Muslim population is growing faster than the Hindu, Damodarbhai would never say it out loud, is that Muslims don’t kill their girls in the womb.”
One of the best books that I read last year was this amazing book by Manu Joseph. This story set up in the current political-social scenario and takes place in the course of a day. My jaw literally dropped at various instances even after being aware with the reality of it.
“There are faces that only an Indian can make. Like that baffled face when he is shocked by the most logical outcome of his actions. He crosses the road like a cow, and he is startled by a truck. A vehicle on the road? How? He walks across the railway track, and he finds a train hurtling towards him. A train on a railway track? He is stunned.”
The plot line was great which consisted of a man stuck in debris who was giving accurate details of a Muslim couple who were on their way to commit a terrorist attack and of a IB agent, Mukundun who was following the couple. This book included various insights to other characters including Miss Akhila Iyer who was famous for her online pranks on people who called themselves liberals and reformist, the political leader Damodarbhai and his opinions about various religions and the life of Laila from the eyes of her sister.
The book is a perfect combination of fearless and opinionated writing with a great ending. I did not see where the book was leading and I thoroughly enjoyed the emotions which came along with it. Joseph didn’t shy away from speaking about various aspects of the society and delivered them with sarcasm which were offending at various instances through the book. This book gripped me right from the start and was an absolute page turner.
This book is probably offending to every Indian. It will probably irk many sections of the society but it makes you aware of the hypocrite inside of you. “That is what Damodarbhai is- he is not right, he is not wrong, he is a secret thought that people have already thought.”
There were instances in the book which made me cringe and feel offended even after seeing the logic behind it.
This book talks about a lot of issues in India and after being aware of the Ishrat Jahan case (on which this book is based), it hugely impacted me. Joseph is a fearless writer. “India is a wound”, he says in a professorial tone. “But it is not a wound like a whiplash. It is a wound, like a spouse”.
It is not the kind of book I usually read but it was an amazing experience reading this one and I definitely would love to read more of his work. This one is a must read.
Title : Miss Laila Armed and Dangerous
Author : Manu Joseph
Publisher : Fourth Estate
Language : English
Pages : 210
Rating : 4/5
Disclaimer: Thanks to HarperCollins for a copy. All opinions are my own.