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Search for Self (Book Review: Thar Express - Nagendra Murti)







Title: Thar Express
Author: Nagendra Murti
Genre: Mystery / Thriller









A man is found in the aftermath of a landslide in Kashmir. He has no memory of either who he is, or how he got there.

Thar Express, the book by Nagendra Murti, is the story of this man. The story of is struggle to find ‘himself’, despite being suspected by Indian authorities. The fact that he's caught in Kashmir, close to LoC (Line of Control between Indian and Pakistan) leads to serious questions about his nationality and intentions.

Thar Express, the train connects Karachi, Pakistan to Jodhpur, India.

Thar Express, the book weaves an intricate tale that takes the reader from Kashmir to various cities and states of India, and across the border too, in search of truth and identity of this man.

As he leaves Kashmir, and moves from one place to another, his actions send mixed signals, which keep the authorities on their toes trying to figure out who he really is.

Thar Express, by Nagendra Murti, opens with serene monsoon memories of childhood friends. The peaceful scene soon changes to the plight of the mysterious man and his heart-rending plight.

Just a few pages into the book, I had a soft corner for the protagonist. I was rooting for him, whether the proof was in his favour or not.

Truth and deceit, Patriotism and Terrorism, Humanity and Selfishness, all clash in this fast-paced thriller.

The craving for home, the pain of not belonging, the insecurities of being a stranger even to oneself and the fear of authority is effectively portrayed in this book.

“His mind struggled between a terrible urge to remember who he was, to reunite with his family, to meet someone who he would recognize from past and the trauma of death and pain all around him.”

The goodness or at times, the unbelievable, innocent susceptibility of human nature finds a place too.

It is disturbing that most of this can happen to anyone. It can be so easy for a person to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, to make a small mistake and set the dominos falling... dominos, which may never be able to get back up.
As a reader, there was a feeling of a certain helplessness when I was lost in the story of Nagendra Murti's Thar Express. I guess, what I am trying to convey is that this book made me ache for the dilemma of Mano, the man with only a nickname.

The tale of Thar Express has many a twist, its’ fast-paced narrative keeping the pages turning fast.
It is the ending that is the icing on the cake. The climax of the book is unexpected and a fitting finale to Thar Express’ gripping tale.

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