Kashmir has faced the worst time and very few writers have dared to talk about the subject concerning the locals there. Sanchit Gupta, author of the book The Tree With A Thousand Apples has very carefully written and explored the loss humanity has faced in the Kashmir Valley. Inspired from true events, this book narrates the story of three innocent children, whose lives are shattered after mass massacre in Kashmir on the night of 20 January, 1990.
The Tree With A Thousand Apples is a story of cultures, belongingness, revenge and atonement. Safeena Malik, Deewan Bhat and Bilal Ahanagar are three children who grow up in the atmosphere of peace and amity in Kashmir. After 20 January night their lives completely change. While Deewan is forced to flee from his home, Safeena’s mother becomes ‘collateral damage’ and Bilal has embraced a wretched life of poverty and fear. The place they used to call a paradise becomes a battleground and their friendship struggles. Twenty years later destiny brings three friends in front of each other. Safeena, Bilal and Deewan look helpless in front of the world they are made to face the hardships of life for no reason. The story pulls the reader into a universe of grey which makes us question our own morality.
The author Sanchit Gupta, has effortlessly expressed complex emotion in simple words, while reading the book one can explore his fascination for global cultures, societal structures, vagaries of the world and the human mind. The stylised layered format, fast paced narration and suspense storytelling makes book a powerful, gripping read.
Author has weaved the narration talking to the locals from Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla, Sopore and Jammu, which helped him to create the landscape, the story, the culture and characters set in the place. A reader will be impressed with the language, cultural references and most importantly real life stories, the author has brilliantly put in the book.
Saba Naqvi, a senior journalist in her endorsement of this book, writes – “this book has its heart in the right place and is written with genuine emotion about the beautiful yet tormented valley of Kashmir.”