Publisher: Penguin Metro Reads
Author: Juggi Bhasin
The Terrorist tells the tale of Suvir and Murad, both numb with the pain of having lost their loved ones, choose their different paths. Both are victims of circumstances, both numb with the pain of having lost their loved ones and choose to do things differently. While one crosses the border and becomes the most dreaded of terrorists, the other joins the Special Forces. Their face-off is a fight to death as one is out to carry out a major terrorist operation in Delhi and the other has been specially called in to foil the attack.
The research and descriptions of all the places - be it Srinagar, Dehradun or Delhi is etched out with near perfection. I particularly enjoyed the passages of the narrative taking place in Old Delhi and its various by lanes. They are done with minimum fuss and takes you right in the center of the action.
With a Ghajini style cover, the novel does not shy away in going the details of the inhuman treatment met out to the religious group or even showing the sexual exploitation of the same. No doubt it is written with an intention of turning into a Bollywood film, it is only because the settings and situations are complex and written with deft hand, the author comes out with flying colours and give us a novel worth reading.
The complete terrorist plan of having a 1993-Mumbai blast kind of scenario replicated in various parts of Delhi is exciting and terrifying at the same time. Considering how easily these terrorists fit into our society before carrying out the barbaric act even though not new, but is quite fascinating to read specially with those elaborate set-up scenes and detailing of their planning activities.
There are few stereotypes here, for example: The conversion of a unemployed, ill-treated and sexually abused Muslim man had to become terrorist. What else, some would say. Some of the other supporting characters are not developed fully and too many instances of 'power' talk does get monotonous by the end of the novel.
But you tend to overlook these small niggles in the brisk pace of the novel. So considering it is nearly 500 pages long, you do stay in for the final act to actually see how it will all unfold. I am going with 4/5 for Juggi Bhasin's 'The Terrorist'. A first book in the trilogy, there is promise of more blood and gore, all in the best form of the word. Don't miss it!