Anyone who loves to read thriller stories will fall in love with HarinderSikka’s new debut novel ‘calling Sehmat’. This story has already traveled and won many hearts with many eagerly waiting to spend time indulging in the intricate details of life of Sehmat- the protagonist in the novel. This is Sikka’s first attempt at novel writing and a previous version was released in 2008 by Konark publications. The revised edition under the publisher Penguin Random House India is launched in May 2018.
The story seems almost unreal with so many emotions and life incidences posing questions at the readers. Sehmat who is a simple girl from independent India plays a vital role as a spy who is able to mention in time about the naval attack saving the nation from losing the 1971 Indo Pak war. This is not at all like a history story which only talks about facts but wads through a series of emotions portrayed by many characters who are a part of the story. Even when the readers know what happens at the end the writing manages to keep the interest of the readers alive.
Calling Shemat Book Review
The story starts with the new of Sehmat’s death years after she had come back from Pakistan after fulfilling the mission. Sikka has given full attention to developing the character of Sehmat in the first few chapters of the book and it makes her as real as possible for the readers. Sehmat is Born in Kashmir and has strong values of love and dedication for the country. Her father a Muslim and Mother a Hindu has instilled in her that there is nothing greater than the nation. Young Sehmat hence listing to her parents and with strong determination agrees to marry a high ranking Pakistani officer. She is the greatest weapon which the country has that was realized after her successful stint. The book talks about her affable character which moves on to do things not suited for her nature just because of the love she has for her country.
Sehmat moves to a new country and then novel delve deep in day to day story of her life once she is there. She gathers whatever information she can about the operations in Pakistani Army where she stumbles upon a plan that talks about INS Vikrant- which is the pride of Indian Navy. It is an interesting read here on how she manages to get all the information across even when struggles to understand what ishappening. HarinderSikka has managed to weave a great story of a heroic spy with focusing on intricate details of the events. It can be said that since it is his first story there are some patches but the story never becomes weak at any point and also does not lose focus.
Price of the book
The book is priced between Rs 160- Rs 180 for normal cover and Rs 450- Rs 500 for hardbound. The prices vary depending on the website you buy it from. If you wish to save money then it is best that you use amazon books offersas there are many attractive discounts. Thereare many online stores which have the first edition of the book available that include flipkart, snapdeal, infibeam, etc.
Calling Sehamt is not just a story but a trip down the memory lane for many. The emotions dealt in it are strong and portrays an indestructibleforce that works in a person on a mission. Talking about aninnocent girl with strong values it shows what is possible. It is also a story of many unsung heroes who have been a part of protecting the nation in their own ways. It was previously launched in 2008 and is now also a motion picture. The novel is deep and fair to the characters and tells the story as is without any fabrication.
The Indian Express calls it a gripping tale whose setting in an undeniably thrilling. It is a chamber drama which sometimes lack sense of urgency and immediacy. The writer has made an effort not to spoon feed the readers but that creates some gaping holes in the narration and plots.
DNA India talks about the story of calling Sehmat mentioning the book which goes through a lot of abrupt turns to reach its end. It is clear that the story is being told as is and not a lot of efforts are made to coat it. Hence it is not clear what genre it should be put in- a novel, an accour of naval war or a self-help book. The read might confuse a lot of readers and is capable of instilling various different emotions with the same plot. Since it talks about the Indian Navy, Sehmats life and the warfare in 1971 it more confusing and does not build everything together well.
India Today says that the book is a tale of Sehmat and goes on to talk about the story. It is an interesting mention here about religion in the novel where Sehmat prays to Allah, Krishna, and Wahe Guru but the idea is not clear as to what is it that the writer wished to drive across. The story was told by Sehmat herself over 8 long years as she was worried about protecting her family.
Sehmat is now gone and with the motion picture and the novel the story lives on forever. Whoever will read it will be touched by the sacrifices made and the courage displayed despite the hugedifferences in how people have perceived it.