Author: Chandan Sen Gupta
Publisher: Notion Press
Price: Rs 399
Terrorism has no country, no caste and no creed. It is the arch enemy of humanity. How brutally this social scourge takes its toll on the lives and well-being of the common citizens is all about we get to know from the novel “Unforeseen” by Chandan Sen Gupta. Undeniably, India and Pakistan have been at loggerheads since the inception of the latter. Both the nations have also witnessed many a bloody carnage. Despite umpteen people losing their precious lives due to Pakistan’s state-sponsored terrorism and massacres, the common men like Yousuf and Mariam from Pakistan harbour no hatred and ill-will against India.
Similarly, ordinary Indian citizens have also always embraced the good-intentioned natives from their neighbouring nation against the backdrop of this intense bellicosity and animosity. Yousuf, a peace-loving school teacher from Pakistan, arrives in India along with his wife Mariam and daughter Aisha for the treatment of their daughter who is battling with a congenital liver disease. But the Samjhauta Express that brings the virtuous people like Yousuf and Mariam is also used as one of the mediums to transport terror and promote cross border infiltration by the nefarious elements.
Two deadly ‘fangs’ at the behest of the Pakistani Army Generals (the hardcore Pakistani terrorists) also sneak into the Indian territory by boarding the same train and their coincidental encounter with poor Yousuf lands this innocent Pakistani citizen and his family in the deep swamp of troubles. This jeopardises the most urgently needed treatment of their little cherubic child as Yousuf has to run from pillar to post to prove that he is not in cahoots with the terrorists and has not resorted to the killing of the receptionist of their hotel. In the pursuit of wriggling out of this desperate situation, Yousuf has to undergo an unimaginable ordeal.
But these are not only the testing times for an innocent Pakistani, these are also the testing times for the entire benevolent humanity. And the saviours like Ghulam Muhammad and Saira from India come forward to the rescue of their Pakistani brethren and go whole hog to salvage the situation. Undoubtedly, whenever there is a war between the good and evil, it is the good which eventually prevails. The successful surgery of that little Muslim girl from Pakistan is performed by a Hindu doctor and a kind Sikh gentleman gladly donates his blood platelets to the patient.
The book gathers its universal appeal as it contains a firm social message against the menace of terrorism and presents the struggles of a right-minded Pakistani who embodies the lofty idea of peace and bonhomie. The entire narrative has been deftly woven with the threads of a real life account, therefore the lifelike characters have an everlasting appeal. To quote the father of Magic Realism, Gabriel Marquez, “the characters haven’t been hewed from woods but from throbbing entities and palpable identities.”