Cloud Messenger- A gem of a book

This is a short 195 page book, a novella. I read it in a few hours, in one sitting. Aamer Hussein’s (its title from Kalidasa’s great Sanskrit poem ‘Meghduta‘) “The Cloud Messenger”. Lyrical, poetic, stunning in its narration of the author’s own experiences. The autobiographical facts have been fictionalised.It is the story of Mehran a middle aged man living in London and looking back on his life. The three cities of Karachi, Indore and London, the three languages Urdu, English and Farsi, the love/relationship triangles all take centre stage. I thoroughly recommend this book and I’ll re read it for sure.

A quote from the opening pages of the book: “My friend said: Sometimes I feel you write my words. As if you stole them from me. Or you took them from the sea or city of our birth.
And I tell you then : The heart is a bird. An unwritten letter in its cry. It’s not a perfect falcon. Nor even a swan diving for pearls. No I t’a a gull, in search of sustenance. Or rain.”

I also found a wonderful review of the book on this blog, ‘The Middle Stage’by author Chandrahas Choudhury. His blog is superb.

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