I am an avid fan of Rushdie and have read almost all his works. When he writes about India, he is brilliant. This novel is based on the terrorism which has become a worldwide phenomenon. For centuries, Hindus and Muslims have been living in Kashmir in complete harmony. But the terrorism has turned this heaven on the earth into a hell. The story of the novel is about a Muslim Boy named Shalimar the clown who loves and marries a Hindu neighbor called Booniy which is a symbolic of harmonious relations between two communities. Rusdhie tells us about the village Pachigam where the story is set in part. It is famous for Bhand Pather an ancient Kashmiri folk art and Wazas who were famous cooks specializing in 36 course meals called Wazawan served on special occasions like marriages.
The girl is then seduced by Max, American ambassador to India who is all rounder and has a weakness for sex and girls. She ditches her Clown and goes with Max to Delhi where she lives as an whore of Max. Despite the precautions taken by Max, she becomes pregnant and bears a girl child which is taken by Max’s wife and Booniy is sent back to her village. But the village has already declared her dead.
She lives alone on a hilltop hut and becomes mentally sick. She waits for the Clown who has joined terrorist outfit and kills so many innocent folks. But his real targets are his wife and the American ambassador.
The book as usual is very gripping and heavy reading. Somehow I feel that the Rushdie of old times has faded somewhere when he was simply magical, the master of magical realism.
The book is available worldwide and for internet purchasing you can visit the website www.amazon.com