A Twisted Love story
Falling in love with someone from another caste or religion has always raised eyebrows in the Indian society. And yet every once in a while two people fall in love, irrespective of all the boundaries that a society draw around them.
Abhisar Sharma’s latest book, The Kaafir’s Love, revolves around two star-crossed lovers, Sameer and Inara, whose love blossoms on the streets of Old Delhi.
Ask the author how did the idea germinate, and he quips, “With all that is happening in India currently, all the religious talk, I wanted to pen a social commentary on what happens when a Hindu man, Sameer, has to live in a Muslim majority area, what would his issues be and how would he deal with them. But, as I started penning it down, it slowly emerged as a beautiful love story.”
The book was in fact titled Minority X, later renamed to Forbidden, and then to The Kafir’s Love. The author shares that there are a few uncomfortable questions about one’s identity that the book raises. “I wanted to write a fiction on something that is troubling the country, including the religious polarisation that we get to see a lot nowadays. We are today in a society where there is constant fear about one’s identity and how they portray it. I wanted to talk about the uncomfortable things that we often don’t speak about. It is not just another love story. The reader will encounter many twists and turns.”
A well-known journalist, Abhisar feels that it is shocking when religious intolerance starts getting a political boost. “We are intolerant and insecure at a very deeper level. But when things like hatred toward another caste or religion gets political blessing that becomes a problem,” he adds.
It took Abhisar around three years to finish the book. However, the author didn’t have to do much research. “I live in Delhi, and hence am familiar with the Old Delhi area and its people. So, there wasn’t much to be researched. But I did speak about religion a few times to some people. I have done reporting from Benaras and of course Delhi, so I understand how life unfolds in the places mentioned in the book,” Abhisar concludes.