Book: Baramulla Bomber
Author: Suraj “Clark” Prasad
Year: 2013
Bookhad Rating: ❤❤❤♡♡

Baramulla Bomber, the first part of the Svastik Trilogy, starts with a bang. Literally.

Clark Prasad’s novel starts with J.P Oppenheimer regretting his first atomic explosion and ends somewhere in the Nordic Region Airspace. In between these two events the book takes the reader in a frenzied ride: From Shaksgam valley it begins and goes all over the world at maddening pace. Baramulla Bomber is about a lot of things. It is a story about Mansur Haider, about Adolf Silfverskiold, about the theory of how the universe came into being.

Although, this topic of the universe and the big bang theory has become rather very common to run into, Clark Prasad’s book deals with the ‘primordial sound’, or more simply, the ‘Word of God’. Dan Brown fans will know what we’re speaking of. Baramulla Bomber is very India centric and deals with the Hindu chant of “AUM” rather than The Bible’s Word of God. Clark Prasad has built a story with Indian sensibilities but has weaved it with foreign threads. The characters are, at least primarily, India based but their idiosyncracies are on par with the global hunter-cum-bedouin of the world of today.

Mansur Haider is a muslim youth from Kashmir whose father left him with a mystical sense of foreboding about his role in the future of the world. Mansur’s dream is to play for the Indian Cricket team and also, at the same time, fight for the freedom of his people. Although he is unaware, there is a group of highly influential people bent upon making his father’s words come true.

Book Cover
Book Cover

Agastya Rathore is the Home Minister of India and is on very close terms and relations with the Defense Minister, Abhimanyu Kashyapa. The two of them, along with Mansur Haider’s very intelligent and beautiful girlfriend, Aahana Yajurvedi, team together to help save the world from the evil powers . Mansur is the central character in the novel but it wouldn’t be fair to call him the only protagonist.

The story is cooked with a mix of drama and science fiction. Agastya, Abhimanyu, Adolf, Aahana and Carina, Adolf’s Senior at the Sarskilda Operationsgruppen (SOG), blend in resulting in an acceptable dose of potent fodder cooked for an audience ready to leap into the world of a techno thriller genre!

Dr. Nasir Raja, a student of J.R Oppenheimer and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics, has successfully tested the possibilities of a weapon whose “technical know how” dates all the way back to the Vedas. The author takes note and cognizance from various books, The Bible and The Vedas predominantly. There are references in the story to the story of the Walls of Jericho and the chant “AUM” from which the word “Amen” is derived and the likes. The author goes into the history of the theory based upon the primordial sound but not too deeply.

The presence of The Guardians is somewhat lacklustre in my opinion. The group is made of influential  people all the world over and their basic aim is to “manipulate the world” for the world’s wellbeing. This is what struck to me as overtly self-righteous. The chances of a group of people, who control resources and are highly placed in their governments, being noble is something that I find difficulty in digesting. Although I find the dictum of There must be War for Peace pretty plausible, but is not the kinds that can be used as stencil in every situation. To me, personally, it sounds like a justification of fighting a War; very similar to what is happening in our world today. The author doesn’t insinuate any such thing; this is just from the top of my head.

I should mention the cover specifically. It attracts your attention immediately. The look is intense and hard-hitting. Although, the request and the warning mentioned at the start is not exactly needed. I think it was more of a marketing ploy rather than a literary decision to include the request and warning. The request is directed at reviewers to not give away the plot and the warning is to the readers not to flip pages so as to avoid spoilers.

Another thing that I would like to mention is the dialogue delivery. It isn’t top-notch. It isn’t bad or boring and drab. It is acceptable with a little dose of Indian-ness sprinkled in it. The thought process and their exclamations are a little too india centric, which, mind you, isn’t a bad thing necessarily but the whiff of it coming from a Swedish character is not what should happen. There is this part towards the end where there is a touching speech given by one of the character in the UN which doesn’t come out right. It sounded too much like a daily soap actor trying to be gung-ho and soppy at the same time. The issue discussed is an international issue and the stakes are sky-high. The potentiality of it being solved by emotional speeches is a little on the lower side!

That said, the narrative is good. The language is really simple to follow. There are no glaring errors that I could see when it came to structure and grammar. The story is simple to follow and easy to imagine like a movie.

Suraj ‘Clark’ Prasad was a pharmacist with a management degree before he armed himself with a more potent weapon; a pen. He is good and has a bright future as a writer. He has done some real serious background research and hard work. I read in an interview that he travelled by train to check out the terrain and the timing of it to incorporate it in the story. That is an awesome way to go ahead with a first book!

I would place him above most of the recent MBA turned writers and give him a good thumbs up for the other two books of the Svastik Trilogy.

Bookhad
(11.02.2013)

NB: The book review was requested by Suraj Clark Prasad.

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