Book Review – Red Masala by Saad Hirji Kahn

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Khalid is a student in the online school. When he watches the news about his sister’s marriage, he realizes that she and her husband are of Indian origin and decide to learn the language so that he can get an interview with the bride and groom.

Khalid

This novel has a simple yet very complex plot. The writer used his first-person narration to depict the characters’ personal situations and the reader gets to learn the essence of their journey. The story is beautifully written and the setting is also beautiful.

The novel can be divided into three parts. The first part deals with the negative aspects of growing up. The second part focuses on the positive aspects of that growing up. The third part is about the family and the future.

The book has a theme and it is the theme of a retired army officer named Kaiba. He comes from an Indian-Arab community living in Jordan. The world of his childhood friend is destroyed by the terrorist attacks. His father and mother are working in Dubai and his only brother is working in the army.

Kaiba’s mother cannot accept the fact that her son is not happy in his married life. She is determined to send him back to India where he belongs so that he can see his daughter get married. This motivates Kaiba to go back to school to learn the Indian language so that he can become a professional.

His friends from the new school however criticise him for going back to school and they feel that this will tarnish his honor. After a heated argument, Kaiba’s friends do a favour for him by bringing him to a village to find a job.

He then meets a young girl and is taken into a temple where he is able to eat the Indian food that he misses. He is presented to a Brahmin who tells him that he wants to see more in him. Later that day, he marries a girl who is half Indian.

There are many characters in this book. The narrator himself is very lovable and can also be a great character to relate to. I personally think that the language being used in the book was highly descriptive but I don’t mind it since I have a good grasp of the English language.

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