Author: Salman Rushdie
First Published: 2015
This story with a fantastical/mythical background is about a Princess named Dunia from the Jinn world who is always found human world so interesting that she descends on earth. On earth, she falls in love with a philosopher Ibn Rushd and starts living with him. She gives birth to many children with him sometimes more than 12 in one go. All her children further have their families and in 1000 years, the Dunia’s legacy spreads and is called Duniyazaat.
Years later Dunia who had gone back to her actual abode comes back to the human world to reunite her Duniyazaat who had the Jinn powers but were not aware of. Dunia gets them ready to fight the destruction that will soon be unleashed on earth by the evil Jinn and that this Duniyazaat is the one which will fight this ‘War of the Worlds’ against the evil Jinn. The war which had to erupt when a storm strikes New York city slitting the barrier between the two worlds.
I am not into fantasy novels at all and in fact this was my first one but I found it quite interesting. In the beginning, the author introduces how the protagonist Dunia made acquaintance with this philosopher, fell in love with him and bore his children. Soon other characters are brought into picture with their own stories – A gardener who starts defying gravity, the fantasy fiction writer from New York who starts seeing his novel’s fiction Hero Nataraj in his room, a baby found in mayor’s office who detects corruption. These are the descendants of Dunia and the ones who will fight the war against the Evil Jinn.
In the second half of the novel, the reader starts to realize how this situation is similar to the happenings of the current world order. I could totally relate it to today’s events, how the malicious elements are trying to get the better of the world using their anti-social activities to claim their supremacy. So, the novel is mainly about the war between good and evil. It gives the insight on how people need to unite to fight against this evil.
It got a little boring for me in the middle but not that boring that I had to keep the book down. It is very imaginative and the author takes the book from pure fantasy in the beginning to real world situation towards the end so seamlessly. It goes without saying that Salman Rushdie is a great author with such a stupendous set of novels he has produced but for me this was not one of his best works. He writes it really well in a way that it has fantasy, folklore, reality, religion symbolism as well as tid-bits of comedy encompassed in it but the storyline is just not my cup of tea.