A rare and moving debut novel that gives us an insider’s view into everyday life and emotions in the valley of Kashmir.
- Life in the Clock Tower Valley is a rare novel that focuses on the everyday emotions and hardships that the common people of Kashmir face, and not just the constant conflict and military presence.
- It includes fascinating historical and political information about Kashmir as well as environmental issues that are seldom talked about.
About the book: Srinagar, summer of 2008: the chinar trees are shedding leaves, outdated matadors are still polluting the streets and checkpoints with men in army fatigue dot the city.
Samar, a college student, is head over heels in love with Rabiya, his batchmate. Secret rendezvous in matadors, campus corridors and at the city’s historical sites help them to get to know each other better. But will their love survive the unending curfews and their families’ opposing political allegiances?
Sheikh Mubarak, Samar’s neighbour, is a famed metal craftsman stuck in a loveless marriage. He is further distanced from his unsympathetic wife, Naziya, when he loses his cherished pregnant cow on a curfewed night.Will their marriage survive the arrival of Rosaline, a tourist from NewYork?
Sana, Mubarak and Naziya’s five-year-old daughter, is best friends with Pintoji, the neighbourhood simpleton. Both chase their little dreams together with a wide-eyed curiosity, ignoring the adults who frequently indulge in the stone- throwing game. But what happens when Pintoji ventures out without a care during a curfew?
Delicate and sensitive, Life in the Clock Tower Valley is an unusual debut novel that travels between Kashmir’s pristine past, its grievous present and always- uncertain future, giving us an insider’s view to everyday life and emotions in the conflict-ridden valley.
About the author: Shakoor Rather is a Kashmiri journalist based in Delhi. He has written extensively about Kashmir’s politics, society, culture and heritage. Having grown up in the Kashmir Valley during its most difficult decades, he writes with rare sensitivity about the different dimensions of the conflict there. In a journalistic career spanning nearly a decade, he has also travelled widely, reporting on scientific and technological advancements as well as environmental issues from various countries.