Author: Shiv K Kumar
Publisher: UBS Publishers
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8174762191
Since independence there has been a plethora of fiction-novel and short stories-about partition, portraying the trauma of the communal holocaust that followed the British withdrawal from the Indian subcontinent. But no writer has been able to capture the poignancy and suffering of the migrants with greater authencity and imaginative power than the present author, whose novel is to quote Mulk Raj Anand a poet's visualization of the India 1947- its brutality and romance, its agony and ecstasy'.
Basically A River with Three Banks is a story of revenge and romance presented against the communal frenzy. Gautam Mehta, a Delhi-based journalist, wants to divorce his wife. Since the Hindu law does not offer him release from his wrecked marriage, he convinces a Christian priest into believing that he is keen to renounce Hinduism to embrace Christianity - passport to an easy divorce, as counseled by his lawyer. Subsequently, he falls in love with a Muslim girl Hassena. As required by her family, Gautam readily agrees to accept Islam in order to marry her. He escorts her family to cross over to Pakistan, but Hassena decides to stay back in India. The novel ends on a poetic note.
This novel has both beauty and power. It recreates, in a language that glows with fragrance and color, not only the trauma that one associates with partition but also love, compassion and forgiveness that it evoked even in the midst of communal frenzy.
This is a novel to read, ponder over - and preserve.