someday ill be in company of all....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Book Review: Sikander by M.Salahuddin Khan

Author: M. Salahuddin Khan
Publisher:Karakoram Press
Price: Rs 1417
Pages: 588
Genre: Historic fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Borrowed
Buy Sikander from
Buy Sikander from

Sikander is the tale of the son of a Pakistani middle-class family. It's 1986. Seventeen-year-old Sikander, dreams of studying and living in America, but after a family quarrel, he leaves his Peshawar, Pakistan home. Encountering mujahideen warriors, he joins them in their fight against the occupying Soviets in neighboring Afghanistan. American assistance is stepped up with advanced weapons, like the Stinger missile, and the mujahideen are able to neutralize the Soviet military advantage. After just two years following Sikander's arrival, a Soviet withdrawal begins. Amid the turmoil, Sikander finds love and marries a young, sharp-witted Afghan village girl. With the fighting all but over, the couple decide to move to Sikander's Pakistan home where he hopes to reconcile with his family. But his dream of living in America endures. It's a dream that is shattered in the aftermath of 9/11 and in seeking to help his Afghan relatives, Sikander, now a successful entrepreneur, finds himself on an unavoidable collision course with the America of his dreams.

In a quiet household of Peshawar Sikander was a normal teenager pumping high on adrenaline, but then one day  as a result of an argument with his family wherein they choose to sort things out through physical violence..Call it fate or play of destiny he stumbles upon a Afghan Mujahideen group who brain wash him to fight against Soviet..Torn between turning back to family to face their wrath or to play along , he chooses the later..Living through the war zones he realises how it is to be actually living a life of war rather debating staying in the comfort zone referring various intellectual theories and philosophies..But good part was he meets a girl who captivates his heart and mind...Later he is chosen for a training on Stinger Missile funded by Britain...In heaven (Scotland) he learns to create hell (war) rather an irony that he slowly discovers as the way of life..With America's helpful indulgence in terms of weapon all that ends in a positive note as far as Sikander is concerned..Sikandar returns home for the delight of the family with his Afghan  girl.. Sikandar dreams for a beautiful life and it starts of that way with his ever loving wife and his flourishing career until 9/11...Sikandar is also falsely convicted like many others as Taliban...
Confused and distrust spreads like a wild fire..Afghan becomes a victim of yet another suffocation life, after Soviet they (Afghan people) hope for a life of that of peace and happiness expecting a base line of normalcy but Taliban brought with a harsher life style stricter for women Afghan people in general..Pakistan was dictated to snap off all ties with Afghan and US taking over it in the name of restoring peace only worsened things..Even withdrawing the troops from the country by Obama last year raised many questions all around..Yet the way things disrupted  a common man's life is beyond any nightmare..
Sikandar is gripping and absorbing tale for a person who wants to learn about the side of the coin...From a life of a priviledged family of Pakistan Life of Sikandar goes all over globe, from his hometown Peshawar to Soviet war torn Afghan, to beautiful Scotland to the camps of Gauntanamo  finally to America The country that always fascinated him... This book opens us to world of love, freedom,constraint, discrimination, hate, violence, war, loss, aspiration, disgrace, honor, hope and salvation..
First part of  the book deals gets us the glimpses of the cold war fought between the Soviet led Afghan and the against multinational insurgent groups called Mujahideen, the effect on the civilians and the consequence of the war itself...This books leaves many questions unanswered that would leave us desperate and saddened..The extreme actions taken in order to strip of terrorism ,can they justified?? Did that really work to serve the cause also about the atrocities upon the common man in Afghan their plight that they had to live for no real reason, though these actions could never been undone still they would serve as a reality check..

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a book that takes on many of the big issues of our day. How international politics and war making affects people in the nations that are directly affected is something that, at least in the USA, is rarely examined or talked about. More people in the West should be reading things like this.


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