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To Deepa, Prem gave no hint of the churning inside him. In front of her he affected a cheery demeanour, indulging her in her plans for their honeymoon, which she kept revising. It was a welcome escape from the mayhem surrounding him. There were occasions where the pretence got to him and a voice rose inside, urging him to tell her everything. He silenced it. Deepa was a Hi To Deepa, Prem gave no hint of the churning inside him. In front of her he affected a cheery demeanour, indulging her in her plans for their honeymoon, which she kept revising. It was a welcome escape from the mayhem surrounding him. There were occasions where the pretence got to him and a voice rose inside, urging him to tell her everything. He silenced it. Deepa was a Hindu and would never understand. Until then, he had never thought of her as different. Prem Kohli, the handsome, ambitious son of a Sikh refugee, has the world at his feet. A glittering career lies ahead, and he has just got engaged to his college girlfriend, Deepa, overcoming her parents' reservations about Hindus and Sikhs intermarrying. But, while Deepa remains occupied with their marriage plans, the Indian Army enters the Golden Temple. Prem cannot contain his rising anger at the desecration of the shrine and at the people around him who shrug it off as 'teaching a lesson' to the Sikhs. He begins growing out his hair and beard, and visiting the gurudwara regularly, where he learns about the militancy in Punjab. Matters come to a head a few months later, when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated and anti-Sikh riots break out all over Delhi, as Prem is caught up in a vortex of violence and hate that threatens to engulf all of their lives. In The Assassinations, Vikram Kapur writes with sensitivity about a topic that still holds painful memories, skilfully telling the story of how ordinary lives are distorted by the forces of history. At the same time, he masterfully evokes the New Delhi of the 1980s, with its wide, leafy roads masking the precariousness of its Punjabi middle class. This memorable book captures the turbulence of those times, while chronicling the ways in which continuing to live means coming to terms with many kinds of deaths.


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To Deepa, Prem gave no hint of the churning inside him. In front of her he affected a cheery demeanour, indulging her in her plans for their honeymoon, which she kept revising. It was a welcome escape from the mayhem surrounding him. There were occasions where the pretence got to him and a voice rose inside, urging him to tell her everything. He silenced it. Deepa was a Hi To Deepa, Prem gave no hint of the churning inside him. In front of her he affected a cheery demeanour, indulging her in her plans for their honeymoon, which she kept revising. It was a welcome escape from the mayhem surrounding him. There were occasions where the pretence got to him and a voice rose inside, urging him to tell her everything. He silenced it. Deepa was a Hindu and would never understand. Until then, he had never thought of her as different. Prem Kohli, the handsome, ambitious son of a Sikh refugee, has the world at his feet. A glittering career lies ahead, and he has just got engaged to his college girlfriend, Deepa, overcoming her parents' reservations about Hindus and Sikhs intermarrying. But, while Deepa remains occupied with their marriage plans, the Indian Army enters the Golden Temple. Prem cannot contain his rising anger at the desecration of the shrine and at the people around him who shrug it off as 'teaching a lesson' to the Sikhs. He begins growing out his hair and beard, and visiting the gurudwara regularly, where he learns about the militancy in Punjab. Matters come to a head a few months later, when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated and anti-Sikh riots break out all over Delhi, as Prem is caught up in a vortex of violence and hate that threatens to engulf all of their lives. In The Assassinations, Vikram Kapur writes with sensitivity about a topic that still holds painful memories, skilfully telling the story of how ordinary lives are distorted by the forces of history. At the same time, he masterfully evokes the New Delhi of the 1980s, with its wide, leafy roads masking the precariousness of its Punjabi middle class. This memorable book captures the turbulence of those times, while chronicling the ways in which continuing to live means coming to terms with many kinds of deaths.

30 review for The Assassinations: A Novel of 1984

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kanwarpal Singh

    Review: This book is about what happened in 1984 after operation Blue star and how lifes get effected its the stories of 2 families who are got effected too, a love story of boy and girl and then assassination of Indira Gandhi happens and boy face the wrath of the mob because of religion then got offer from militant and unknowingly he did the heneious crime of terror attack and lost his life and his lover in attack families has to face wrath of city and then boy family shifted to Seattle and lat Review: This book is about what happened in 1984 after operation Blue star and how lifes get effected its the stories of 2 families who are got effected too, a love story of boy and girl and then assassination of Indira Gandhi happens and boy face the wrath of the mob because of religion then got offer from militant and unknowingly he did the heneious crime of terror attack and lost his life and his lover in attack families has to face wrath of city and then boy family shifted to Seattle and later the boy sister became flight air hostress of the finest airlines. After few year when she return to see her house and met her cousin Daman who try to fix her with her friend because she is divorce and he too and girls brother find her that she is yet not change yet. The family turmoil of loosing there children in a terror attack was difficult to handle as girl mother didn't get over with her death.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bigsna

    The Assassinations: A Novel of 1984, is a historical fiction novel based on the 1984 Sikh riots that took place in India after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her two Sikh bodyguards. The story takes place in Delhi, the centre of the riots, and follows the lives of two families who are unwittingly drawn into and deeply affected by the event, turning their lives in directions they could never have imagined. Most non-fiction books on the subject capture stories from the worst affec The Assassinations: A Novel of 1984, is a historical fiction novel based on the 1984 Sikh riots that took place in India after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her two Sikh bodyguards. The story takes place in Delhi, the centre of the riots, and follows the lives of two families who are unwittingly drawn into and deeply affected by the event, turning their lives in directions they could never have imagined. Most non-fiction books on the subject capture stories from the worst affected areas in Delhi – Trilokpuri, Kalyanpuri, Sultanpuri, Seemapuri, Nangloi. In The Assassinations, Vikram Kapur brings the most prime and affluent localities of New Delhi into focus, portraying the immense vulnerability of even those who thought they were, or tried to remain, distant from the worst of the violence in East Delhi and the events that led up to it. The author has weaved key historical facts and events well into the narrative, creating a synchronism in how our story develops and how the characters blend into these events. There is one particular moment in the plot that took me by surprise and is extremely tragic, but it also binds the events happening in Delhi around that time very well. I enjoyed this book for its simple and fluid expression, and because the story is completely believable and relatable. The characterisations are well done, their emotions and inner turmoils well conveyed. It is not difficult to sympathise with how they feel and why they feel so. I also really enjoyed the descriptive depiction of the Delhi of 1984; it really added to the feel of the period this book covers. There are other small details that add to the picture the author is trying to create in the reader’s mind about how bad the atmosphere in the country had become during that time. For example, there is a passage that describes how a short feature on national integration on television had been modified to include a Sikh boy, though in the past it had only been a Hindu boy and Muslim boy. To me, this was a really interesting insight. This is a heartbreaking story of what 1984 did to 8 people, amongst thousands, what they gained and what they lost – and what this one haunting story represents of the pain, loss and tragedy that so many continue to live with even today.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Khyati Gautam

    The Assassinations is an evocative tale centered on the event of Operations Bluestar that took place in 1984 in India. It was then when PM Indira Gandhi announced raid on the Gurudwara to combat the Sikh militants and was consequently shot by her Sikh bodyguards. This incident brought mayhem in the lives of people and the worst affected were the denizens of Delhi. The Sikhs were brutally killed, women were raped, houses were set on fire and what surrounded was the smoke of burnt flesh and dead d The Assassinations is an evocative tale centered on the event of Operations Bluestar that took place in 1984 in India. It was then when PM Indira Gandhi announced raid on the Gurudwara to combat the Sikh militants and was consequently shot by her Sikh bodyguards. This incident brought mayhem in the lives of people and the worst affected were the denizens of Delhi. The Sikhs were brutally killed, women were raped, houses were set on fire and what surrounded was the smoke of burnt flesh and dead dreams. It is a story of the one who has lost everything to the disruption caused by an assassination. I liked how the author developed the whole setting of the story. It begins with the parents who are worried about the marriage of their soon-to-be graduate daughter. She is in love with a Sikh boy. After a few repercussions, they are decided to be married. Everything is smooth and fine till the worst happens and it changes the course of their lives. Dreams of a beautiful future together are shattered. A lot of loss creeps into the lives of the people affected in 1984. The way the pain of loss has been brought out is striking.  I was moved to tears when the agony of a woman pleading with passersby to save her son is put forth. I was stunned at the way the Sikhs had to bear the aftermath of what their brothers did. I was shellshocked at everything that took place in the light of consequences of the assassination. I felt it - everything. If a book is able to deeply affect you in a way that you are bound to stop and ponder over what had happened in it, I guess it is successful. To me, the fast-paced narrative with the lush character development and language is always a win-win thing. So yes, a book like this written with utmost sensitivity deserves all praise for it paints the picture of pain in the most subtle manner.  For the first time, I have realized why minority communities in India are minorities! And how bloodied hatred and insensitivity could be. 

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anukriti Malik

    Deepa , a hindu girl falls head-over-heels in love with Prem Kohli , a sikh boy the moment she sees him. Prem also falls for Deepa and they both decide to get married. Their religious differences never mattered to them until one event that changes their entire world - The Assassination of (then) Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The Assassinations : A Novel of 1984 by Vikram Kapur is a historical fiction that focuses on the disturbances across New Delhi's area during the Blue Star Operation and the a Deepa , a hindu girl falls head-over-heels in love with Prem Kohli , a sikh boy the moment she sees him. Prem also falls for Deepa and they both decide to get married. Their religious differences never mattered to them until one event that changes their entire world - The Assassination of (then) Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The Assassinations : A Novel of 1984 by Vikram Kapur is a historical fiction that focuses on the disturbances across New Delhi's area during the Blue Star Operation and the assassination of Indira Gandhi. The words are woven in a simple yet intricate way that strike a chord and takes you back in time when thousands of sikhs were being targeted and humiliated. The fiction part worked quite good for me and the author perfectly portrayed the internal disturbances of families during the sikh riots. The book is divided into four parts - 1. Delhi, 31st October , 1984 2. Before 3. After 4. Delhi 2004 The characters blend well in the storyline. Every character depicts the right amount and natural emotion that people would have gone through in that phase ; Deepa's mother and father and their different views on their daughter marrying a sikh boy during the on-going sikh riots , Prem's parents and their concern of his well being on the day of assassination of Mrs Gandhi. Prem's sister and her bullying in school post the assassination , everything just fits perfectly. The small details in the story add up well together and form a picture in your mind that is both sympathizing and disturbing. For instance , the scene in Trilokpuri after Mrs Gandhi's assassination where a sikh mother disguised her son as a girl , to save him from being killed by the locals left me teary eyed. I am not a history buff but I loved this one. Recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mridula Gupta

    Operation Bluestar is an important event in the political history of India. Thousands of Sikhs were massacred, innocent people, who died over a mission that was (maybe) a mistake. But other things happened, alongside the cold-blooded murders, events that scarred people. This is one such story. Deepa and Prem, two people in love, planning their life together. But then Indira Gandhi, the country’s Prime Minister is shot by her own bodyguards. These people who shot her are Sikhs, so is Prem. So when Operation Bluestar is an important event in the political history of India. Thousands of Sikhs were massacred, innocent people, who died over a mission that was (maybe) a mistake. But other things happened, alongside the cold-blooded murders, events that scarred people. This is one such story. Deepa and Prem, two people in love, planning their life together. But then Indira Gandhi, the country’s Prime Minister is shot by her own bodyguards. These people who shot her are Sikhs, so is Prem. So when the country’s beloved Prime Minister is murdered, Hindus decide to launch an attack on the entire Sikh community, an attack that is full of hatred. The Sikhs are humiliated on the streets, their hairs cut off, beaten and burned to death. All of these events start boring a hole into Prem’s mind because innocent people are being targetted. But he can never talk to Deepa about it, she is a Hindu, she won’t understand. As the story progresses, we see a cruel, merciless world, fighting in the name of religion. What I loved about the book was the amount of information provided. It was measured and put together quite nicely. The book tends to leave an impact and make you ponder over what humanity has turned into. It’s fast-paced, with interesting turns. In books like these, the ending gets tricky, but the author has tried to give it a bittersweet ending, which is hopeful and a bit sad at the same time. -Look Forward to: >A lovely couple, a country in turmoil and scared people >Love and hatred, a lot of it >Violence, terrible stuff people do, without logic >A government who doesn’t care about the consequences of their actions The book is centered around New Delhi and how an event like this didn’t spare even the elite. The author has focussed on the tiny details, that makes the narratives much more vivid and dramatic. The characters develop into complex beings, each step becoming more and more unpredictable. Overall, this book is full of insights about a day, right at the country’s glorious capital, when humanity lost its meaning, again. A day where a lot of people were left scarred for life, families were destroyed and no one lifted a finger, right at the center of power.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Reethu Ravi

    Story Overcoming her father's qualms about a Hindu marrying a Sikh, young Deepa is engaged to Prem Kohli, an ambitious son of a Sikh refugee and a prominent doctor. The wedding preparations are underway when the Indian army enters the Golden Temple. The blasphemy of the shrine and the nonchalance of the people around him about the attack is more than what Prem could take, and a change comes over Prem, beginning with him growing out his beard and hair and the regular visits to the Gurudwara. Matter Story Overcoming her father's qualms about a Hindu marrying a Sikh, young Deepa is engaged to Prem Kohli, an ambitious son of a Sikh refugee and a prominent doctor. The wedding preparations are underway when the Indian army enters the Golden Temple. The blasphemy of the shrine and the nonchalance of the people around him about the attack is more than what Prem could take, and a change comes over Prem, beginning with him growing out his beard and hair and the regular visits to the Gurudwara. Matters get worst when a few months later Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated. As atrocities against the Sikh community reach new heights, Prem finds himself in the middle of violence and hatred, that forces the Sikh community to shave their beard, cut their hair and flee their homes. What I loved I loved how the story revolved around a sensitive issue in the history of India, that is still afresh in the minds of many; the subject was the sole reason why I picked it up. I was quite impressed by how the author coined a story that progressed with the events of 1984. The turmoils that each character go through, especially Prem and Deepa's father Jaswant and the choices they make were well portrayed, giving me a glimpse of what life was like during such a period of emergency.  What didn’t work for me With a sensitive subject like this in hand, the author had an option of creating a stellar tale. But the plot of The Assassinations failed to do justice to the subject, as it resembled any other cliched Bollywood movie. The dialogues were quite weak, and got quite mundane and made up halfway through the book. For these reasons, the story failed to connect with me. Conclusion The Assassinations: A Novel Of 1984 by Vikram Kapur takes us through the events of 1984 India from the attack on the Golden Temple to the assassination of Indira Gandhi, through the story of Prem and Deepa. Even though the book deals with a subject of great importance, the plot with its average writing and poor dialogues failed to leave a mark. If you are looking for a quick read that will barely take a couple of hours to finish, do give it a go. I would recommend the book if you are looking to read something with the events of 1984 India as the backdrop.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tiwary Amit

    Kudos to Vikram Kapur for bringing out a story woven around an event which changed many lives and blotted the very fabric of religious harmony of our country. This story is simple but very effective in portraying the pain and suffering of the masses. Stories like this should come out periodically to keep this issue in our memories till the justice is delivered to the suffered. Many thanks to you, Vikram. A good effort. A very satisfying read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anu Lal

    Clothed in a crimson cover, the book invites readers to face a haunting series of unsettling events. Deepa and Prem are about to cross the most important threshold of their life. They start dreaming and planning their beautiful life. Their marriage is nearing. Deepa’s mother, Savitri is in frenzy. She wants everything to be perfect on the wedding day of her daughter. But life has something else to offer them. Through the story of two families, the novel unravels the harrowing experiences of the Clothed in a crimson cover, the book invites readers to face a haunting series of unsettling events. Deepa and Prem are about to cross the most important threshold of their life. They start dreaming and planning their beautiful life. Their marriage is nearing. Deepa’s mother, Savitri is in frenzy. She wants everything to be perfect on the wedding day of her daughter. But life has something else to offer them. Through the story of two families, the novel unravels the harrowing experiences of the Sikh massacres that occurred in 1984, after the murder of the prime minister, Ms Indira Gandhi. The news of the death of Indira Gandhi, the prime minister shakes the world they inhabit. The cosy lives of the characters we meet are shattered without prior notice. The novel has four parts: “Delhi, 31st October 1984”, “Before”, “After”, and “Delhi 2004”. Amarjeet and Kishneet, parents of Prem are also excited about their son’s marriage with a Hindu girl, Deepa. Being a Sikh family has not affected them in any way in making that decision. However, when the darkness of bigotry changes the society they inhabit, even their family has to make decisions they never thought they had to make. On the day of the assassination of the prime minister, (India’s first female prime minister), Prem visits one of his Muslim friends who is new to the city of Delhi. While Prem is at the house of Imran, the news of the assassination of the prime minister broke. The act was committed by one of her bodyguards who happened to be a Sikh. This was in retaliation of her decision to raid the Golden Temple of Amritsar. Prem could see chaos brooding in the neighbourhood. As he was about to leave, his car was stopped by some goons. He was dragged out of his car and beaten up. This episode is at the centre of the novel and serves the purpose of heightening the tension in the story. The death of Indira Gandhi, the prime minister, was a historic event. This event was connected to a series of events that played out earlier in the history of this nation. The raid of the Golden Temple was an attempt to subdue the Sikh-terrorists who were using the religious place, the holy shrine of the Sikhs, as their ground of operation. However, the operation had wounded the spiritual sensibilities of the Sikh community. The feelings of intolerance had developed like a storm gathering. Both the older male characters in the novel, Amarjeet, Prem’s father and Jaswant, Deepa’s father had undergone the harrowing experiences of India’s partition. For them, the riots seemed to eclipse the present and foreground the past all over again. Here is a strand of thought that passed through Amarjeet’s mind: “Now, in the blink of an eye, he had been flung back thirty-seven years, once again contemplating flight, as the city that had given him refuge shrieked for his blood” (129). Thirty-seven years before, Amarjeet had reached Delhi as a refugee from of partition. From there he had worked his way up the ladder in the society to become a respectable doctor. However, his elite status in the society hadn’t been able to save his son, Prem from being beaten up near Irfan’s house. The stream of consciousness technique is used in many areas to narrate the feelings and thought processes of characters with a great impact. The storytelling of Vikram Kapur is simple, direct in style, and lucid in language. Vikram Kapur has authored two novels previously namely, Time is a Fire and The Wages of Life. He works as an associate professor at Shiv Nadar University. The Assassinations stands as a novel that clears the mist over one of the darkest episodes of Indian politics. There is no question that the novel will haunt us for days and months after reading it, with its thought-provoking narrative style and compelling events of human transformation.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Animesh Das (Booksandbeard)

    Title- The Assasinations : A Novel of 1984 Author- Vikram Kapur Publisher- Speaking Tiger Publishing Pvt.Ltd Genre-Fiction Format- Paperback Length- 216 pages Year- 2017 Rating- 4.2/5 stars "Nowhere else in the world did the year 1984 fulfil its apocalyptic portents as it did in india...There were days in 1984 when it took courage to open the New Delhi papers on the morning." ---Amitav Ghosh(The Ghosts of Mrs.Gandhi) "The Assasinations : A Novel of 1984" by Vikram Kapur is a brilliantly woven work of fict Title- The Assasinations : A Novel of 1984 Author- Vikram Kapur Publisher- Speaking Tiger Publishing Pvt.Ltd Genre-Fiction Format- Paperback Length- 216 pages Year- 2017 Rating- 4.2/5 stars "Nowhere else in the world did the year 1984 fulfil its apocalyptic portents as it did in india...There were days in 1984 when it took courage to open the New Delhi papers on the morning." ---Amitav Ghosh(The Ghosts of Mrs.Gandhi) "The Assasinations : A Novel of 1984" by Vikram Kapur is a brilliantly woven work of fiction based on the backdrop of the Operation Bluestar conducted by the Indian Armed Forces at The Golden Temple of Amritsar, the assasination of Mrs.Gandhi and the sectarian violence that followed it. The author has realistically captured the mayhemic condition of 1984 through the lives of Deepa, a hindu girl and Prem Kohli, a Sikh Refugee, who are all set to tie the nuptial knot, but the events takes a dramaric turn when the news of the desecration of the Golden Temple reached him. A young hot-blooded male like him, who was already angry with the separatist mentality of the people around him, the news breaks all the walls of his patience and a hidden anger and zeal for revenge took birth in the dark alleys of his heart.But days later When the news of the assasination of Indira Gandhi by two of her Sikh Bodyguards came, Prem finds himself in utter jeopardy. Divided in four parts, "Delhi, 31st Oct,1984", "Before", "After" and "Delhi 2004", the author not only presented a realistic picture during the genocide but also the time when the seed of voilence first entered into the minds of the people to the aftermath of the genocide, when they finally realized what injustice have they done with the humanity. All the characters are perfectly woven with much care and attention and each character have their equal contribution to the plot. The mastery of the author in narration can be easily understood from the fact that nowhere the plot seems boring or unnecessary and each and every word has been used meticulously and purposefully.Through the beauty of his excellent writing style the author has elevated the story from merely a fictional work to an almost real life experience which is truly commendable. The title as well as the cover design is apt as it perfectly represents the theme of the novel. Finally I can say this book is one of those rear gems which makes you ponder over the incidents of 1984, when you finished reading it. A book worth reading...Highly Recommend it to every Indian, particularly in today's india of CAA and NRC when it is much important for us to preserve the fabric of our religious harmony and national unity, otherwise another 1984 will happen. Rating-4.2/5 stars

  10. 5 out of 5

    Aparna Prabhu

    The early 1980s will remain etched in history for all the wrong reasons. The then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, had ordered the Indian Army to lay siege to the Golden Temple. The place was bathed in a pool of blood and numerous holy relics were destroyed in the mission. This led to the assassination of the Prime Minister and triggered a lot  of Sikh militant groups across the country. The deepest fears of Jaswant, the senior bureaucrat, came true after these events. The Partition invoked a lot o The early 1980s will remain etched in history for all the wrong reasons. The then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, had ordered the Indian Army to lay siege to the Golden Temple. The place was bathed in a pool of blood and numerous holy relics were destroyed in the mission. This led to the assassination of the Prime Minister and triggered a lot  of Sikh militant groups across the country. The deepest fears of Jaswant, the senior bureaucrat, came true after these events. The Partition invoked a lot of painful memories in him. The Hindus and the Sikhs never got along each other in the 1980s. He was hesitant to marry off his daughter to a Sikh family. Ultimately he gave in to his wife's persuasion and his daughter's happiness. His son-in-law Prem  was beaten badly by the ruffians solely because he was a Sikh. All the Sikh people in the society had to go into hiding after the Prime Minister was assassinated due to the violence against them. After that incident, he felt raging emotions seeping inside him. The lives of the two families turn upside down like never before. I was never a fan of historical fiction. This was my first pick in that genre, and I'm really glad that I made this choice. The blurb was neither vague nor  had too much information contained in it. The story perfectly encapsulated the events that led to the 1984 riots and the aftermath of the tragedy. It also summarised how it affected people belonging to the different strata of the society. The characters construed their own mechanism  to cope up with the tragedy in the course of time. It also showed how it jolted the childhood of the school-going children. It had its own share of heart wrenching moments and minuscule joys. The narration was subtle and unbiased. It put forth both sides of the story effectively.The dialogues were minimum, but the narration made up for it. The  description of Delhi during the ongoing chaos was vivid. At the end of the book, you will realise that the victims never got a sense of closure even after so many years and are silently bearing their sorrows. Even though, the book is a short read, the pace is constant throughout and there is nothing amiss. The author has skillfully weaved a story set in the backdrop of 1984 that is a heart wrenching tragedy at its core. This book is an ode to all the innocent people who had lost their lives in a chain of events that followed Operation Blue Star.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sharanya

    Trust me, very much like Prem, even I, while reading the book, didn’t see Deepa as different. The book started cliched. Yes, it did and I was actually left thinking, what would the book give me? Will all those promises and expectations from the cover. And then I turned the pages and went on reading it. I was dumbstruck. My eyes moist. Yes, that was the effect the book had on me. I am a reader. Voracious or not, I don't know. And frankly, I don't have a specific genre I like to read. Everything an Trust me, very much like Prem, even I, while reading the book, didn’t see Deepa as different. The book started cliched. Yes, it did and I was actually left thinking, what would the book give me? Will all those promises and expectations from the cover. And then I turned the pages and went on reading it. I was dumbstruck. My eyes moist. Yes, that was the effect the book had on me. I am a reader. Voracious or not, I don't know. And frankly, I don't have a specific genre I like to read. Everything and anything that is provided to me is a read for me. Given this scenario, I have read a lot of books on the subject that the book addresses: terror attacks. Attacks that shook India, a part of it. Of lives that were altered by the attacks. Most were biographical in nature. Majority were non-fiction (barring the Kashmir situation which usually is fictional). This, being a fictional novel had my heart in it. The way Kapur describes the situation: The divide. The emotions. The feelings. The aftermath. The way things were before. It is brilliant. Brilliant would be an understatement, for this book would be one which will be remembered by me for quite some time now. The intensity of the situation after Mrs. Gandhi was shot was very well described. I have a question for the writer, though: How could he write with so much feelings? While I would leave it up to you, my readers, to decide how this book fared. I don't know what else to write. Because, I believe if I start writing about this book, I won't stop. Coming to the cons, I felt the book was a bit abruptly ended (open ended, though and completely not something that people might expect as an ending). The book was a perfect size but again, typical me. If someone is writing so good, why does it always have to come to an end and that too so fast? Feelings, emotions, characters, narrative, flow, build up everything was spot on. A question here and there were unanswered. Some characters shed a shadow of 'why was it introduced, what happened to it, why not a bit more book space?’ in them. For me, this book was surely a 4.5 out of 5 and I'm expecting so much and so much more from the author. 

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bhargavi Chandrashekar

    Operation Bluestar was an Indian Army operation to flush out rebels/terrorists/freedom fighters from the Sikhism’s holiest shrine in Amritsar. The June 1984 operation is among the most controversial events in modern Indian history. Vikram Kapur’s The Assassinations: A Novel of 1984 is the fictional story based on this operation blue star and Anti Sikh Riotsevents. The book starts with the right flow and maintains throughout the story. It treats every minute detail fastidiously. Deepa, a girl from Operation Bluestar was an Indian Army operation to flush out rebels/terrorists/freedom fighters from the Sikhism’s holiest shrine in Amritsar. The June 1984 operation is among the most controversial events in modern Indian history. Vikram Kapur’s The Assassinations: A Novel of 1984 is the fictional story based on this operation blue star and Anti Sikh Riotsevents. The book starts with the right flow and maintains throughout the story. It treats every minute detail fastidiously. Deepa, a girl from the Hindu Family falls in love with Prem Kohli son of Sikh Refugee. Right from the first page story moves fast. Soon Deepa convinces her parents and now it’s time for a wedding bells. When everything seems moving fine, the fate has something to play with in their lives. Deepa and Prem who had planned for that bright future ahead is now experiencing the breakdown. One prodigious event affects the peaceful lives of the eight people. The book is divided into four parts: Delhi, 31st October 1984, Before, After and Delhi 2004, with smaller chapters. So does helps the reader to follow the linear narrative. The author impresses the reader by knitting the story in such a way that you start feeling it’s a nonfiction story. He creatively pulls together the real events and narrates the story, making it has a relatable. The best part of the book is, the transformation of the characters. Prem has been living the normal life with the glittering career ahead, who only thinks about his family and happiness has now turned into a man who is raging for the avenge. Deepa from the easy going girl is now defenseless, not knowing how to deal with the Prem’s abrupt behavior. Rakesh and Seema are dealing with their own trauma. Savitri is now doubting her decision, blaming herself for all the events that happened. The author has focused on every single character in the book and treated them equally. The simple language with the fluid narration has helped in structuring the book with great ease. And I feel he does the justice to the reader by ending it the way it has been. Overall, this book portrayed both Joy and Pain equally. It also gives an insight about the history. And I would definitely recommend this book to everyone. This 200 and odd page will surely Makes its own impact, satisfying the readers’ time. I give it 4.3 out of 5 for this excellent book. Note: I Received this copy from Writersmelon in exchange for Honest and Unbiased Review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sailaja

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Tragedy strikes the nation when the Prime Minister of the country takes the bullets from her own bodyguards. Unfortunately that is not all. The assassination unleashes a series of tragedies – the bitterness and suspicion between two communities always known to live in harmony; the undercurrents between two people who thought there is nothing except love between them; and scars and memories that refuse to leave the “victims”… Vikram Kapur brings it all in a sensitive portrayal of what could have j Tragedy strikes the nation when the Prime Minister of the country takes the bullets from her own bodyguards. Unfortunately that is not all. The assassination unleashes a series of tragedies – the bitterness and suspicion between two communities always known to live in harmony; the undercurrents between two people who thought there is nothing except love between them; and scars and memories that refuse to leave the “victims”… Vikram Kapur brings it all in a sensitive portrayal of what could have just been a sweet tender love story of two youngsters, engaged to be married. Set in Delhi of 1984, the story begins with Prem and Deepa who come from Sikh and Hindu families respectively. After initial apprehension from Deepa’s father - who still bears the scars of Partition in 1947 – he agrees to go ahead with the engagement. As the two families become involved in the wedding preparation, the news shocks them beyond words. As events unfold in the aftermath, it shows through the micro lens of these two families, a larger potrayal. Prem, a victim of anti-Sikh riots comes out not just bruised but bearing the scars and full of anger. He is torn between Deepa and allegiance to his religion. The blurb sums up the sentiments of the book and the author very well. “This memorable book captures the turbulence of those times, while chronicling the ways in which continuing to live means coming to terms with many kinds of deaths.” The first two chapters could have been more enjoyable had it not been for the attempt at flowery prose. This tones down later but I couldn’t help wonder on the inconsistency of the editorial hand. The gripping plot thankfully makes up for the minor inconvenience at the beginning.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Privy Trifles

    Every time I read a book about the history of India, I am pained beyond words to know that something so beautiful has such a bloodied past. 1984 is a year etched in my memory because it’s my birth year and it was much later that I came to know how important a year it was in Indian history with the death of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi and the subsequent events before and after. This book opens up those wounds of that time, taking up back into the era where life looked peaceful but the qu Every time I read a book about the history of India, I am pained beyond words to know that something so beautiful has such a bloodied past. 1984 is a year etched in my memory because it’s my birth year and it was much later that I came to know how important a year it was in Indian history with the death of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi and the subsequent events before and after. This book opens up those wounds of that time, taking up back into the era where life looked peaceful but the quietude was of one before the storm. More than the how, when and what, it is always the why that has fascinated me. And that is where the author scores a brownie point. This book answers every why that came to my mind, not only about the story but also about the real incidents around which the story has been woven. In lucid language and with buoyant descriptions the author brings alive the Delhi of the 80s, the simple and uncomplicated lives we had before it all got complicated beyond repair. Read the whole review on my blog: http://www.privytrifles.co.in/2018/02...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Priyaranjan Mohan

    This is very well researched and well written book concerning  the days following the Indira Gandhi Assassination. Merely just 211 pages, this book has the power to move its reader. I could not stop thinking about the book. Evoked strong emotions in me. The book revolves around Prem and Deepa, the two people in love and planning their life together. Prem is a Sikh boy whereas deepa is a Hindu. Their life plunge after the Assassination of Indira Gandhi by Sikh body guard.  The language of the boo This is very well researched and well written book concerning  the days following the Indira Gandhi Assassination. Merely just 211 pages, this book has the power to move its reader. I could not stop thinking about the book. Evoked strong emotions in me. The book revolves around Prem and Deepa, the two people in love and planning their life together. Prem is a Sikh boy whereas deepa is a Hindu. Their life plunge after the Assassination of Indira Gandhi by Sikh body guard.  The language of the book is simple. Cover of the book compel you to pick it up. Excellent  book about a very significant  time in history. Highly recommended.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Just Mate A Book

    A historical fiction drama marking one of the most ruthless tragic riots in Indian history Anti sikh riot, which was flamed due to then PM Mrs. Indira Gandhi's assassinations. Author chose to bring about a story that ruefully paints the lives in retrospect. Both families were wealthy one Hindu the other Sikh but both were brutally twisted in the wind in a manner that had a timeless, life long effect on every person regardless of the age, gender. An ambitious, not really religiously devotional, S A historical fiction drama marking one of the most ruthless tragic riots in Indian history Anti sikh riot, which was flamed due to then PM Mrs. Indira Gandhi's assassinations. Author chose to bring about a story that ruefully paints the lives in retrospect. Both families were wealthy one Hindu the other Sikh but both were brutally twisted in the wind in a manner that had a timeless, life long effect on every person regardless of the age, gender. An ambitious, not really religiously devotional, Sikh, Prem Kohli falls in love with a Hindu girl. And against all the odds, especially considering Deepa's father 's difference with the contrast , finally gets engaged to her. Readers can live the joy of the couple at the prospect of a life of happy dreams. Where Jaswant, is fighting his breath in paranoia. He is a senior bureaucrat who has seen the vivid picture and records of tragedies fallen upon lives during the Partition of the country. But for the love of his daughter's happiness, he stood powerless and feeble to put his fears on table. While he was praying against his fears, Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi is assassinated by her own two bodyguards, both were Sikhs. Now low keyed rage against the Sikhs has been fanned, flames of detestation leaped into the sky. Hindus were out on streets to slaughter as many Sikh men and boys they can get their hands on and were mistreating harassing their women. You can get the idea of how terrible it must have been then. How it hits you in the heart is all the best part for which you need to read it yourself. I felt myself in living in somebody's shoes. Every chapter hooked me in and I was living their lives. I was sated to see how even the characters appearing minor were tremendously affected and are rendered justice to their suffering. All ends tied, even when the reader is swayed off from the minor ones. Writing style is Sauve, pleasant, easy going.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Divya Chirania

    5 stars to the writing style. A light read of 200 pages & the messages conveyed is overwhelming. It takes great effort to summarize a contention of religion succinctly. Every word is carefully chosen & keeps the reader hooked till the last page. For a change, it was not a Hindu - Muslim rivalry but Hindus vs Sikh. No matter what the contention is about, it is the innocent citizens who get affected & pay a cost by losing their dear ones. Unfortunately, the ideology of religion which brags about hu 5 stars to the writing style. A light read of 200 pages & the messages conveyed is overwhelming. It takes great effort to summarize a contention of religion succinctly. Every word is carefully chosen & keeps the reader hooked till the last page. For a change, it was not a Hindu - Muslim rivalry but Hindus vs Sikh. No matter what the contention is about, it is the innocent citizens who get affected & pay a cost by losing their dear ones. Unfortunately, the ideology of religion which brags about humanity & kindness itself becomes a cause of bloodshed. Religion, which should serve the purpose of knitting all the sects in one common thread is doing the opposite. We boast ourselves to be a democratic country but in reality, we citizens are just a machine whose button lies in the hands of the bureaucracy. We never know what is brewing inside our own country as Political leaders only care about their vote share & Media is more than happy by getting increased viewership even if it involves altering of basic facts. Even after 70 years of independence interreligious marriage is frowned upon, love takes a back seat in the chaos of matching the caste & religion of bride & groom. But true love knows no boundaries. It is ready to cross all the ramshackle. The protagonists were clueless what future has in store for them when they decided to tread upon their journey together. India proudly calls itself a democratic country having accommodated all the diversity, but the inside picture is very grim. The situation becomes even more chaotic when things get escalated to the national level. “Before 1947 we were all Indians. Then suddenly everything changed & we became Hindu & Muslim” We all know that it is not the ‘common man’ who has a problem with other people from the minority group, but the political leaders set the whole situation in such a way that it is impossible to hide the differences. Religion is the most powerful weapon they possess. If any high-profile leader gets assassinated the first thing which comes into the limelight is the religion of assassinator. The example is there in front of us in the form of assassination of Mahatma Gandhi or Indira Gandhi. And soon the whole situation gets a new lens of majority vs minority. 'Prem' found himself trapped in his duty towards religion & arising suspicions of his fiancée. No matter how hard he tried, he could not allay her fears & as a result, their relationship reached on the verge of breaking with absolutely no fault of their own. The book leaves another important message to the readers that sometimes consequences of a tragedy is so severe that it takes ages to return to normal. “What made people agree to forget & go on as before? For no matter how hard you tried, you could not forget. At best you could enter into a pact to ignore.” “But even when it is prudent to let go, there is the sadness that accompanies the demise of a dream.” Humans are called the most intelligent among everyone but are we different from animals when we resort to bloodshed on every small incident? We never understand the gravity of the situation until we face it ourselves. Every life is priceless. For some of us, instances like this are mere headlines but people who have lost their loved ones have to live with a void every day, which will accompany them to their grave. “He continues to be amazed by how everything that happened has shrunk to a few recyclable paragraphs of newsprint” When God does not differentiate among us who gave us the right to treat followers of a religion different from us as inferior? Our education system needs to be revamped so that novice people like ‘Prem’ do not get disillusioned just by seeing the outside picture & political leaders should stop using religion as opium. India is a secular country probably only in theory as we still have a long way to go to realize its true meaning.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Subhadrika Sen

    The 1980’s were turbulent times in the history of India. After the Hindu-Muslim the country had not quite recovered from the Partition around three decades ago when the 1980’s saw fresh communal uprisings between Hindus and Sikhs. Under the Prime Ministership of Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Operation Blue Star had taken place. This included the army marching into the Golden Temple, one of the most religious places of worship for the Sikhs community. To top it all, Mrs. Gandhi was assassinated by her own The 1980’s were turbulent times in the history of India. After the Hindu-Muslim the country had not quite recovered from the Partition around three decades ago when the 1980’s saw fresh communal uprisings between Hindus and Sikhs. Under the Prime Ministership of Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Operation Blue Star had taken place. This included the army marching into the Golden Temple, one of the most religious places of worship for the Sikhs community. To top it all, Mrs. Gandhi was assassinated by her own bodyguards who were Sikhs, a few years after the Operation. The Assassinations is set against this communal disharmony. Vikram Kapur takes immense care of not making the book preachy in a History Book format. Instead, he cleverly weaves in a love story -an inter-religious love story- between a Hindu girl and a Sikh boy to narrate the consequences of this National political scenario in the lives of innocent people. It tells the tale of an engaged couple and their families, who face the wrath of the communal adversities. At times, society influences people to change and this change affects the ones close to the individual in many different ways. This is exactly what happened in the life of Deepa and Prem, the protagonists of the novel. The Assassinations is a very symbolic title. Not only were innocent people assassinated during Operation Blue Star; but also Mrs. Gandhi a few years after. But a lot more was slain apart from the people. Friendship, love, trust, faith, belief, innocence and above all humanity were assassinated. The entire Sikh community was abandoned, insulted and vigorously put to death in the most inhuman ways. The vivid imageries of these atrocities portrayed by worded descriptions are enough to make one’s bile churn. Religion and Community are deep-rooted virtues in the life of an individual. One may seem to be an atheist, but come a calamity and one’s true allegiance is displayed. Taking advantage of this vulnerable aspect, especially among the hot-blooded youths, the militants started recruiting young men by playing with their beliefs. The fragility of the situation is often not grasped by these unaware youth and they find themselves trapped in dire situations, from whence there is no return. The Assassinations revive the ground realities of communal imbalance due to political developments. Though the disturbance is a phase and with time, it disappears, only to be retold as tales or written in history books; but the shadows of suffering, injustice, loss, and death linger long after. The horrors, if experienced up front are too fresh to be ever forgotten, though its impact may lessen with time.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ankit Chouhan

    The Assassinations: A Novel of 1984 by Vikram Kapur is a fiction based on Political History and incidents of 1984 in India. Author has weaved the storyline beautifully around the incidents that took place in 1984, the assasination of Indira Gandhi, the attacks on Sikh community, every incident is being related by the story of a common family, and love story of Prem and Sikha. The plot covers every aspect that a novel should hold within it, love, pain, emotions, happiness, moment of grief, sadnes The Assassinations: A Novel of 1984 by Vikram Kapur is a fiction based on Political History and incidents of 1984 in India. Author has weaved the storyline beautifully around the incidents that took place in 1984, the assasination of Indira Gandhi, the attacks on Sikh community, every incident is being related by the story of a common family, and love story of Prem and Sikha. The plot covers every aspect that a novel should hold within it, love, pain, emotions, happiness, moment of grief, sadness. The story tries to explore inter-religion marriages, how families get around to make it succeed. The book focuses on to raise the voice of minority, along with the respect and dignity of everyone. Narration and writing style is something, in which Vikram Kapur is a mastermind, his storyline abilities are really strong which makes this book a pacy read. Characters are developed to utilize them in situation according to the storyline and each characters is very well explored. Even narration of a particular place or scene is so beautifully described by the author that as a reader we fall in love with that place. Overall, a worthy book to read and understand and realise history along with a emotional yet beautiful story. The Assassinations: A Novel of 1984 by Vikram Kapur is a fiction based on Political History and incidents of 1984 in India. Author has weaved the storyline beautifully around the incidents that took place in 1984, the assasination of Indira Gandhi, the attacks on Sikh community, every incident is being related by the story of a common family, and love story of Prem and Sikha. The plot covers every aspect that a novel should hold within it, love, pain, emotions, happiness, moment of grief, sadness. The story tries to explore inter-religion marriages, how families get around to make it succeed. The book focuses on to raise the voice of minority, along with the respect and dignity of everyone. Narration and writing style is something, in which Vikram Kapur is a mastermind, his storyline abilities are really strong which makes this book a pacy read. Characters are developed to utilize them in situation according to the storyline and each characters is very well explored. Even narration of a particular place or scene is so beautifully described by the author that as a reader we fall in love with that place. Overall, a worthy book to read and understand and realise history along with an emotional yet wonderful story.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Deepali Joshi

    1984 is considered one of the darkest years of India’s post-independence era. The erstwhile Prime Minsiter Mrs Indira Gandhi was shot dead by her security guards who sought revenge for Operation Blue Star. Thousands of Sikhs were brutally murdered in the communal riots that erupted as an aftermath in Northern parts of the country. Property was ravaged and people were torturously killed to avenge the death of the PM. Sikhs who were forced to leave their homes still shudder at the memories of the 1984 is considered one of the darkest years of India’s post-independence era. The erstwhile Prime Minsiter Mrs Indira Gandhi was shot dead by her security guards who sought revenge for Operation Blue Star. Thousands of Sikhs were brutally murdered in the communal riots that erupted as an aftermath in Northern parts of the country. Property was ravaged and people were torturously killed to avenge the death of the PM. Sikhs who were forced to leave their homes still shudder at the memories of the painful past when they had lost everything overnight. Vikram Kapur’s novel, The Assassinations, is a touching tale of love shattered by the communal turbulence. Based in Delhi, the story revolves around Prem and Deepa, the young lovers who dream of their future together as their parents agree to marry them irrespective of their regional differences. But as the city confronts the repercussions of PM’s assassination by her Sikh security guards, the future suddenly seems bleak for the families looking forward to embrace each other. The Sikhs are being targeted openly and brutally. Men, women, children -no body is spared. The roads of the capital are lined by the remains of charred bodies and ravaged properties. While the rest of the family members struggle to fathom the upheaval around them, Prem is caught in a vortex of emotional turmoil. When he encounters a violent mob and ends up badly beaten, he is pulled down further in this tornado and starts thinking of revenge. What comes out of this revenge destroys the lives of these two families and leaves them with pain to last a lifetime. I finished this novel in one sitting. The characters and the story felt very real. Though the story is fictional, one could easily imagine a Prem and a Deepa somewhere in Delhi caught in those tumultuous times. The author beautifully portrays the predicaments and helplessness of the parents through his words. The story flows smoothly and takes you with it to imagine the plight of innocent lives that paid a heavy price of revenge and remorse. This is not a light read and author has described the brutality very vividly. It might disturb some readers but it is certainly essential to bring out the desired emotions in the story. After all, the image of men becoming monsters is never an easy one to visualize.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rakhi Jayashankar

    Unity in diversity: There would not be an Indian alive who has not studied this in their school. But have this unity been a matter of the past or a myth? If we study our history in detail, we would find it oxymoronic. The hindu- muslim conflict during the partition and the hindu-sikh conflict during the 80s prove the term to be a farce. Vikram kapoor through his book The Assasinations, breaks the pseudo secularism in the country or should we say that whatever happened was because the country was Unity in diversity: There would not be an Indian alive who has not studied this in their school. But have this unity been a matter of the past or a myth? If we study our history in detail, we would find it oxymoronic. The hindu- muslim conflict during the partition and the hindu-sikh conflict during the 80s prove the term to be a farce. Vikram kapoor through his book The Assasinations, breaks the pseudo secularism in the country or should we say that whatever happened was because the country was secular. Being a South Indian, I was unaware of the vigour of the attacks against the Sikhs. It is heart-wrenching to read the atrocities and I somehow felt ashamed of being unaware of the real pictureThrough the love life of Prem and Deepa, author has drawn the picture of Sikh Assassinations post the assassination of Indira Gandhi. The story however reminded me of how the Muslims these days are termed as terrorists, with prejudice. The time when the Sikhs were synonymous of militants was depicted without exaggeration. The plot has been given a decent build up. The initial part of the book tried to keep the romance on the upfront but whether the author succeeded in the same is debatable. As the title says the book has given more priority to the assassinations and the chaos due to the anarchy post assassination of Indira Gandhi. How a simple lad is transformed into a militant due to the judgemental and wretched mentality of the people is the crux of the story. The characters could have crafted better. Author failed to make use of the possibilities of developing the characters especially that of Prem, which has a lot of variations to experiment with. How Prem was saved by Jaswant shows that there were still a lot who were broad minded and kind enough to distinguish between felony and reaction. There is nothing much to claim novelty in the climax but the fact that author tries to throw light into the lives of the survivors of the revolt is commendable. Overall the book is an easy read yet thought provoking. The storyline is simple and underdeveloped but the author's intention of throwing light to the assassinations has been carried out with conviction.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Uday Singh

    The book is isolated into four sections: Delhi, 31st October 1984, Before, After and Delhi 2004, with little parts. So does encourages the peruser to take the direct account. the best piece of the book is the change of the characters.The writer has concentrated on each and every character in the book and treated them similarly. The straightforward dialect with the liquid portrayal has helped in organizing the book. I totally adored the key separating of the story. The characters were played well The book is isolated into four sections: Delhi, 31st October 1984, Before, After and Delhi 2004, with little parts. So does encourages the peruser to take the direct account. the best piece of the book is the change of the characters.The writer has concentrated on each and every character in the book and treated them similarly. The straightforward dialect with the liquid portrayal has helped in organizing the book. I totally adored the key separating of the story. The characters were played well to the point that their parts get over.Overall the book is a simple read yet thought to incite. The book takes after the narrative of Operation Blue Star, which prompts the occasions where a large number of Sikhs were slaughtered, blameless individuals, who kicked the bucket over a mission that was a mix-up. With a delicate subject like this close by, the creator had a choice of making a stellar story. For a few reasons, I felt that the story was not connectable to at a few minutes but rather when it connected it was a solid bond.the extraordinary changes which happen to his character after Operation Bluestar and the uproars feel extremely authentic and deductible. Also, there are some significantly nitty gritty depictions which were vital to the story, however, might be disturbing to a few. The book begins with the correct stream and keeps up all through the story. It treats each moment detail meticulously. The portrayal is the center of this novel.The creator has given an inside and out record of two families. One Sikh and other Hindu. If an initial couple of pages appear to be ease back to you, worry not on account of whatever is left of the book is paced well and can keep the peruser locked in. Those who know about or are somehow connected to the event must read and share with their families, especially the elders.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Lucy

    Review of “The Assassinations: A Novel of 1984” - Vikram Kapur There have been plenty of novels set in the backdrop of war and violence. What makes this one distinct is the fact that it is not merely a love story centered on the boy and the girl. It takes the spotlight around to each member of their respective families, their inner turmoil and their coping mechanisms. At first, it is like any other love story, boy meets girl, they fall in love, etc. But later, when the tragedy strikes their city, Review of “The Assassinations: A Novel of 1984” - Vikram Kapur There have been plenty of novels set in the backdrop of war and violence. What makes this one distinct is the fact that it is not merely a love story centered on the boy and the girl. It takes the spotlight around to each member of their respective families, their inner turmoil and their coping mechanisms. At first, it is like any other love story, boy meets girl, they fall in love, etc. But later, when the tragedy strikes their city, each character portrays themselves as different people. The story starts with stolen glances between Prem and Deepa, followed by uncertain parents leading to an engagement with both parties going home with smiles. The growing insurgency in Punjab was followed by the Operation Blue Star in 1984. Suddenly, Deepa became a Hindu and Prem a Sikh. But, love conquers the religious divide and their relationship remains intact. As the political and religious scenarios overlap, Prem sees his religion in a new light and struggles to find his true identity in the chaos. The final straw being the assassination of the then PM, Prem gets wrapped in the web of the protesters of Anti-Sikh riots and takes an unforeseen step towards the end. The writing and language is simple and easy to grasp. The author depicts the tragedies which befell on the Sikhs in Anti-Sikh riots with the graphic scenes that are moving. The story does not offer any major twists and turn which usually are the thriving points of romantic tragedies, but the narration is smooth and compliments the complexity main storyline making it stand apart in the crowd of fiction. In all, the book is commendable and a recommended read for all. Book courtesy: WritersMelon

  24. 4 out of 5

    Manvi Singh

    “Smiles lost, lives devastated, an event which took the history of brutality to another level.” Portraying one of most agonising incident of the communal history of India, The Assassinations : A Novel of 1984 by Vikram Kapur is a nightmare lived by the Sikhs of Delhi and the entire nation state. The ever growing incidents of the brutality against the Sikh community haunted Prem Kohli to the core. His life changed after the 1984 operation in Harmandir Sahib. As his inside went on a toss, his love “Smiles lost, lives devastated, an event which took the history of brutality to another level.” Portraying one of most agonising incident of the communal history of India, The Assassinations : A Novel of 1984 by Vikram Kapur is a nightmare lived by the Sikhs of Delhi and the entire nation state. The ever growing incidents of the brutality against the Sikh community haunted Prem Kohli to the core. His life changed after the 1984 operation in Harmandir Sahib. As his inside went on a toss, his love, Deepa grew more and more concerned about him, but life had a different fate for them all together. The assassinations which haunted the areas of Delhi took Prem’s life for a toss and changed his prospective about religion completely. The Hindus weren’t people anymore, for him and the millions of others like him from his community saw them as just Hindus. His love held not an emotion but a religious identity now. As things grew out of hand, he was cascaded by a spell of religion making him do the worst which made him lost himself and everything he held. This incident haunted the lives of eight people and a thousands other who still carry the baggage of their past and the atrocities they faced. Depicting the brutal reality of 1984, this book will make you grieve with the sufferer and live the tragedy of a lifetime yet again. Every history fanatic must read this as you’ll get an in depth sociological experience of the incident of 1984.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anusree Koottungal

    I have not read anything else from Vikram Kapur, and he has moved me immensely with The Assassinations. The writing is simple, and the author has portrayed the horrors and brutality of the riots very convincingly. I was turning pages almost effortlessly – the writing is very fast paced but natural. Nothing seems forced. The character development is also done very well, especially for Prem. The drastic changes which happens to his character after Operation Bluestar and the riots feel very genuine I have not read anything else from Vikram Kapur, and he has moved me immensely with The Assassinations. The writing is simple, and the author has portrayed the horrors and brutality of the riots very convincingly. I was turning pages almost effortlessly – the writing is very fast paced but natural. Nothing seems forced. The character development is also done very well, especially for Prem. The drastic changes which happens to his character after Operation Bluestar and the riots feel very genuine and deducible. There are only a handful of characters in this book, and author has paid attention to each of them very well. They all feel very authentic and non-fictitious. In the last few pages, I had feared that the author was leading us to a clichéd yet dramatic ending, which would have been a grave misfit in an otherwise realistic story. The fears were in vain though, there was no unnecessary drama. The novel ended as graciously as it began. One thing I complain about the novel is that it has been too short a read. I would have loved a few more pages. Also, we do not see the lives of the characters without the veil of the historic incidents. There are some descriptions of the brutality committed during the riots which might be disturbing to a few readers – so be warned if you are not a fan of violence on pages.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nimi

    Vikram Kapur's poignant novel begins in the year 1984 at a time before the four digits evoked painful memories and strong emotions. And the biggest problem is a rather routine one - inter-religion love marriage. Operation Bluestar changed things. The author comments "Most Hindus believed it was warranted; most Sikhs disagreed"... I realize that it holds as true today as it did in 1984. And because the plot of the book has us getting the viewpoint of both a Sikh family and a Hindu family closely, th Vikram Kapur's poignant novel begins in the year 1984 at a time before the four digits evoked painful memories and strong emotions. And the biggest problem is a rather routine one - inter-religion love marriage. Operation Bluestar changed things. The author comments "Most Hindus believed it was warranted; most Sikhs disagreed"... I realize that it holds as true today as it did in 1984. And because the plot of the book has us getting the viewpoint of both a Sikh family and a Hindu family closely, the thoughts of both find a place in this book. This books touched many chords with me. I am from Delhi. I am a Sikh. I was eager to read this book because of 1984. I was 7 years of age in 1984. I have vague memories of seeing burning buildings from the terrace of our house. I don't remember being worried. I can't even begin to imagine how terrified the grown-ups must have been. For me personally, reading this book was a distressing experience. It took me a while to get my thoughts in order to write about it rationally. Vikram Kapur's The Assassinations - A Novel of 1984 is a must-read, not just to know about 1984, not just to feel the emotions of living through the riots and the after-effects of it, but also because it is a story that could be true for any community, any place. Detailed review on my blog: https://goo.gl/ZBvyNg

  27. 4 out of 5

    Akshatha Kamath

    📖 Title - The Assassinations - A novel of 1984. 📖 Author - Vikram Kapur. 📖 Edition - Paperback. 📖 Number of pages -211. 📖 Publisher - Speaking Tiger. 📖 Brief Review and Rating - . Vikram Kapur's novel is a thriller which intertwines facts with fiction. The story is set in the year of 1984 when Delhi witnessed the anti- Sikh pogrom, post the assassination of the then Prime minister, Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. The Sikhs were infuriated with the Indian Congress government after the desecration of 📖 Title - The Assassinations - A novel of 1984. 📖 Author - Vikram Kapur. 📖 Edition - Paperback. 📖 Number of pages -211. 📖 Publisher - Speaking Tiger. 📖 Brief Review and Rating - . Vikram Kapur's novel is a thriller which intertwines facts with fiction. The story is set in the year of 1984 when Delhi witnessed the anti- Sikh pogrom, post the assassination of the then Prime minister, Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. The Sikhs were infuriated with the Indian Congress government after the desecration of the Golden Temple in Amritsar by ' Operation Bluestar ' of the Indian Armed forces against the insurgency of Sikhs in Punjab. . The novel is set in these times. It is about a Sikh boy, Prem and a Hindu girl, Deepa falling in love and getting engaged after convincing their parents. However, Deepa's father Jaswant continues to be reserved about the interreligious marriage. He is shown to be a refugee from Rawalpindi and still remembers the partition atrocities. His fears actualize with the turn of events as Prem, who has it all - a glowing career, a loving family and a promise of love and a happy marriage; gets affected by these political events of 1984 which lead him to transform and work towards 'a believed greater cause'. What follows is a spin-chiiling tale of love, suffering, loss and endurance. . The Delhi of 1980s is beautifully described with its wide roads lined by trees and devoid of apartments. The writing is quick-paced and commendable which makes the book a page - turner. I would recommend this novel to readers of Indian literature and I would rate it a 4.25🌟/5. I thank @writersmelon for providing me with a review copy.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rohan Raj

    The Assassinations:A Novel of 1984 by Vikram Kapur is extremely impressive in its narration.The author has conveyed his message to the reader not by sermonizing, but with the help of a gripping plot.To drive home his point of view ,he has interwoven the incidents into a story line which leave the reader sometimes curious, at other times appalled.The writer is proficient in the art of portraying his characters ,all of them are true to life and one connects with them instantly.He remarks philosoph The Assassinations:A Novel of 1984 by Vikram Kapur is extremely impressive in its narration.The author has conveyed his message to the reader not by sermonizing, but with the help of a gripping plot.To drive home his point of view ,he has interwoven the incidents into a story line which leave the reader sometimes curious, at other times appalled.The writer is proficient in the art of portraying his characters ,all of them are true to life and one connects with them instantly.He remarks philosophically "Happiness can be shared with others but misery is a cross you bear on your own'.The author's keen observation is visible clearly in his depiction of the Capital of yesteryear and later on in the transformation that it has undergone.Deepa reading 'Gone with the wind' and playing records,no mobiles only landline phones and people actually meeting each other at coffee houses to discuss matters.Later on his description of homes with lawns that convert into apartments,malls mushrooming everywhere and KFC and McDonald's taking over.The writer deserves to be applauded for handling such sensitive issues with expertise.He remarks with profound wisdom,'For the young generation of today a blast from the past is an old video on MTV'.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Archana Thakur

    Deepa, a Hindu. Prem, a Sikh. When they fell in love, this never mattered, but then life changed and so did his prospective about her. Until then, he never found her to be any different, but the rising turmoil inside, made him differentiate humanity on the basis of religion, and so did his love. This book holds the events of 1984 in the most descriptive and haunting way. The description of two lives and how one communal incident changed the lives of them and their families forever. Truly said, th Deepa, a Hindu. Prem, a Sikh. When they fell in love, this never mattered, but then life changed and so did his prospective about her. Until then, he never found her to be any different, but the rising turmoil inside, made him differentiate humanity on the basis of religion, and so did his love. This book holds the events of 1984 in the most descriptive and haunting way. The description of two lives and how one communal incident changed the lives of them and their families forever. Truly said, the past never really leaves your way, nor does it’s tragedy. The losses suffered then still stay afresh in the life of those who have lived those days of pure destruction. With no fault of their own, one incident triggered the devastation of entire mankind. Who can be blamed, no one knows, but what changed and will forever remain is the tragedy which stay engulfed in the lives of people. Vikram Kapur, the author of The Assassinations: A Novel of 1984 has purely defined how hatred can be an end to the love of mankind and humanity. Commendable job by the author!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Siddharth Singh

    “Life is a beautiful gift, it’s upto you, 
if you’ll be able to make it or lose it to the conflicts of hatred and love.” Prem Kohli was stuck in one such conflict between his religion and himself. He didn’t wish to betray either of them, but he couldn’t overcome his fear of staying engulfed in the circle of conflicts which compels him to make mistakes, mistakes which took his life on a toll. The Assassinations : A Novel of 1984 by Vikram Kapur is a turmoil which was lived by a thousand people impa “Life is a beautiful gift, it’s upto you, 
if you’ll be able to make it or lose it to the conflicts of hatred and love.” Prem Kohli was stuck in one such conflict between his religion and himself. He didn’t wish to betray either of them, but he couldn’t overcome his fear of staying engulfed in the circle of conflicts which compels him to make mistakes, mistakes which took his life on a toll. The Assassinations : A Novel of 1984 by Vikram Kapur is a turmoil which was lived by a thousand people impacting their lives back then, until now, because destruction take away a part of you which you had lived until then. That’s what happened when the two families burnt in the emerging fire of revenge, when lives where destructed under the blanket of hatred and what remained unchanged was the impact of 1984. This book will take you on a ride from the destruction of property till the point of destruction with lives. Grieve with the ones who have suffered for one may never know when the tables might turn.

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