Blood Brothers is M. J. Akbar's amazing story of
three generations of a Muslim family-based on his own-and how they deal with the
fluctuating contours of Hindu-Muslim relations.
Telinipara, a small jute mill
town some 30 miles north of Kolkata along the Hooghly is a complex Rubik's
Cube of migrant Bihari workers, Hindus and Muslims; Bengalis, Poor and
bhadralok; and Sahibs who live in the safe foreign world of Victoria Jute Mill. Into
this scattered inhabitation enters a child on the verge of starvation, Prayaag who
is saved and adopted by a Muslim family, converts to Islam and takes on the
name of Rahmatullah.
As Rahmatullah knits Telinipara into a community,
friendship, love, trust and faith are continually tested by the cancer of riots.
Incidents-conversion. Circumcision the arrival of plague or electricity- and a
fascinating array of characters- the ultimate Brahmin, Rahmatullah's friend Girija
Maharaja, the workers leader, Bauna Sardar, the storyteller, the poet-teacher, the
smiling mendicant, the sincere Sahib, Simon Hogg and then the questing,
demanding third generation of the author and his friend Kamala- interlink into a
narrative of social history as well as a powerful memoir.
This is a chronicle of
its age, its canvas as enchanting as its narrative a personal journey through
change as tensions build, stretching the bonds of a lifetime to breaking point and
demanding, in the end the greatest sacrifice. Its last chapters written in a
bare-bones unemotional searches for hope amid raw wounds with a surgeon's
About the Author:
He is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Asian
Age, a multi-edition daily newspaper, and the Deccan Chronicle is leading
journalist and author. After successfully launching and establishing a weekly
newsmagazines, Sunday, and a daily newspaper, The Telegraph, in the '70s and
'80s he briefly interrupted his career in journalism to enter politics in November
1989 as an elected representative in Parliament. He returned to writing and
editing in 1993.
His last book, The Shade of Swords: Jihad and the Conflict
Between Islam & Christianity, has gone into several editions, and has also been
successfully published in the UK and Us. His biography of India's first prime
minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, Nehru: The Making of a Nation, is a classic that
remains in print more than a decade after it was first published, as does his
analysis of the India-Pakistan conflict in Kashmir, Kashmir: Behind the Vale. His
other books include India: The Seige within, Riot after Riot, and a collection of his
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