Tuesday, 18 June 2019

The House of Clay and Water- Faiqa Mansab

You know how there are songs which easily become ear worms? The House of clay and water felt like that song which hasn’t left my mind yet and I keep revisiting its chords and beats. Faiqa Mansab writes about love with such poignance, leaving you content and unsatisfied at the same time. Never had I imagined the extent of
love so much and so deep.

The story is primarily about three people-Nida,Sasha and Bhaangi; two women and a hijra(hermaphrodite) who seek love in their own different ways.Nida through spirit, Sasha through body and Bhaangi through God. Reading about these characters gave me a heart ache and all the while I was rooting for them, for something hopeful to happen next. Nida’s pain of mourning her daughter in a distressing marriage, Bhaangi’s constant calls to God to answer his questions about his identity and Sasha’s rebellious nature, a daughter Zoya craving for love and attention from her mother, all this and more was heartbreaking and yet so beautifully written. A sublime combination.

The prose is lyrical with philosophical reflections throughout. It is impressive to see our protagonists shake the foundation and break the rules set by the society and bask in the definition of love which is not authorised. It talks of how a patriarchal system can ruin lives and what it costs to break the shackles and revolt,even if it is for love. It shows how as a society we cannot be accommodating enough,accepting some people and leaving the rest to suffer. A very commendable debut from the author, written with so much poise and skill, one can only be in awe of it. The text is so immersive you only wish there were a few more pages to devour.

Simply beautiful. Must read.

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