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INS Kalvari commissioned into Indian Navy December 14। Prime Minister Modi ceremonially inducted the Scorpene class boat in Mumbai। Built by state-run MDL with French collaboration, Kalvari is the first submarine inducted after 2000। Modi described the Kalvari as a fine example of Make in India। Five more Kalvari Class submarines are to be commissioned over the next couple of years। India Celebrates Navy Day। India Strategic Salutes the Indian Navy। UAE decides to upgrade its fleet of Mirage 2009 combat jets। Boeing, Emirates announce commitment for 40 Boeing 787-10 aircraft worth $15 billion। Russian Helicopters signs deal for undisclosed number of Mi-17 1A2 Helicopters to India’s Vectra Group। Terror attack in New York’s Lower Manhattan kills 8 injures at least 15। An Uzbek, the terrorist mowed cyclists and pedestrians with a hired pickup truck। He was shot and captured, and notes recovered him indicated loyatly to ISIS। He is 29, came to the US in 2010, and married an Uzbek woman there। India marks 85th Indian Air Force Day। Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa says IAF working towards ‘Technology Intensive’ capability। For the first time, indigenous LCA Tejas takes part in IAF Day Flypast । IAF will issue RFI for 114 single engine combat aircraft within two weeks or so । RFI will go to Lockheed Martin for F 16 and Saab for Gripen for their latest variants । IAF aims to get 18 aircraft in 4-5 years, and 96 more in progressive manufacture from then onwards । Capability will be the first parametre for selecting the aircraft, and then the price । The selected aircraft will have more capabilities than those specified in the 2007 RfP for MMRCA ।
December 16, 2017
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Where the River Parts- an Indo-Pak love story

By Shankar Chaudhry Published: February 2016
 

New Delhi. There is never a dull moment in the India-Pakistan relations. Alas, it is mostly for negative reasons; but sometimes something endearingly different comes along giving fresh hope. Mantoa’s writings were one such, Khushwant Singh’s Train to Pakistan was another. Now as India and Pakistan are about to mark 70 years of the Partition we have a great new novel. Radhika Swarupa’s “Where the River Parts” pulls deep and hard at the heart strings. Daughter of a diplomat, Cambridge educated Swarup is a master crafter of words; carving each sentence to perfection. Where the River Parts is destined to become an epic, much like that famous Love Story of Erich Segal.

The plot is structured in such a way that on the one hand, the story is vivid and the voices clear as if the speakers were still alive. On the other, she leaves readers to draw their own conclusions about what it all means. The story seems right, because there is a historical spine to it – as if each of Swarup’s floating metaphors about damage and chaos are real and now.

The story centres around Asha, a Hindu girl, and her Muslim lover, Firoze, in a small town in Western
Punjab. The town falls the way of Pakistan during the Partition, and Asha has to flee to safety leaving behind Firoze. The descriptions – the fictional town of Suhanpur, the river Ravi that sets a steady beat for the novel, and the disturbing scenes Asha witnesses during her exodus – are sensitively rendered. Except for the name Suhanpur, all the other place names are real. Even Suhanpur makes you wonder if it is a disguise for Lyallpur. Swarup then takes us through the next half century.

Asha lives in Delhi and there the drama in her life is forever taking a new turn even as the events outside lead to a particularly acrimonious phase in the relations of the two countries. In these tensions Asha and Firoze meet again by chance. This reviewer will not give away the plot but suffice to say, the final scenes stay with you long after the last page is turned.

Spanning continents and generations, Where the River Parts is an epic tale of love, loss and longing. It is also a paean to hope and friendship. It is undoubtedly a mature and confident literary offering from a writer who has announced her arrival in the world of quality fiction with a great new novel. Simply put, “Where the River Parts” is a delightful read.

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