Book Review: The Forbidden One by Zaarra Khader

  • ISIN: 9789384226954
  • Genre: Fiction / Anthology
  • Publishers: Leadstart India
  • Price: Rs. 150/- (I received the book for review from the author)
Desire enchants! Irrespective of what that desire is for and no matter how correct or blatantly wrong it seems to the world around us - it leaves us stirred. The more we try to resist it, the more irresistible it becomes till there comes a moment when we actually have to take a call whether to draw lines or to cross those intimidating boundaries. The Forbidden One is for all those who believe that one can feel to be alive only when one takes that leap of faith to cross the barriers to your moment of truth. The Forbidden One is also for those who haven’t fulfilled their forbidden dream as yet and are on that cusp of time to take their chances.

The Forbidden One is a compilation of short stories - the chronicle of characters who, in some way or the other, are either excluded or restrained or tattooed ‘promiscuous’ by the society. Malicious and primitive in its ways, pushing such people on the periphery is bourgeois. Yet such people have a life of their own and as we go delve deeper into the lives of these characters we discover strengths, self-belief and even a sense of ease with which these characters go about their daily chores. Each of the ten tales here is set in the deep ocean of human emotions. Except that some of these emotions find their expressions in forms that are supposed to be suppressed as per the norms and inherited wisdom of the society

Behind The book
Source: Goodreads

About the author

Zaarra is a media professional who got enticed into the profession of expressions at an early age even though she studied to be an engineer. From hosting radio shows, producing TV shows and conceptualizing events and engagement platforms—she has been in the business of entertainment, communication and sponsorships for almost a decade now. Crafty with words and sensitive to emotions to the core—she discovered an urge to reach out to the world and cage their imagination with a few characters and tales which seemed familiar yet unknown. 

Writing comes to her naturally as does creating characters that are so real that you can almost touch and feel them. Having written some impressive jingles for the advertising world followed her lyrical venture on contemporary Sufism, her compilation of stories here is more about characters who display exemplary resilience in their pursuits to follow their heart without a bother of what the society thinks of them or defines them as. I hope this book strikes an emotional chord with you and that you come across some extract which reminds you of your own forbidden experiences… I hope the book makes a warm and cosy place for itself right within you!

Me thinks

The recent surge in anthologies is like a book for the urban reader, for he not only gets so many stories to read he also has the choice to pick from the multiple genres that are offered to him in each and decide which suit his taste buds to explore more books further. Also, for an author it offers the opportunity to play around with a gamut of feelings within those short limits of a short stories and that is where sometimes finesse is born.

 I can say this about the author Zaarra too. With this book she has managed to give us something that makes a reader go WOW, I never thought it could lead to this! In almost every story and that is no mean feat. 10 crisp stories with endings that leave you feeling exasperated as you want to read more, you want them to not end – THIS is what is The Forbidden One all about.

When she just sent me the link asking if I would like to read it I fell in love with the cover page and even when I had so many pending reviews I couldn’t help but say a huge YES to it. And I wasn’t disappointed. The stories do live up to my expectations from whatever little I had concluded from the cover. Though I would have loved a little tighter editing in it, the stories are nevertheless charming; ones that will take your breath away. Choosing a favourite would be unfair from the wonderful mélange of stories.

Read it to know what forbidden actually feels like. Read it to know what the forbidden one all about is. Read it to bask in the mystery, read it to know what it is to be a part of something that is so much yours and yet not yours! Go figure!:)

In short read to have a good , enjoyable read.

Foodie Verdict

This book is like wine biscuits - cripsy, sweet, tangy and nostalgic ( these biscuits have been an integral part of my childhood!)



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