“Flames of Paradise” is a debut novel by author Tanuja Shankar Khan. Born and brought up in Patna, Tanuja Shankar Khan is a post-graduate in English Literature and diploma holder in Mass Communication. Having taught at Patna Women’s college till 1996, she now works as Channel Advisor at Doordarshan, New Delhi.
After writing short stories and scripts for 20 years, Tanuja Shankar Khan finally presents her first full length novel “Flames of Paradise”. The novel is set in the terrorism afflicted areas of Kashmir. It is the story of a fiery documentary director Snigdha whose current project is “Flames of Paradise,” which explores the plight of civilians in Kashmir amidst the threat from terrorist and militia. For her project she visits Kashmir with her team and is caught up in the action of a terrorist group.
Abducted and bound by ropes, Snigdha comes face to face with the man she hates most and yet feels immensely attracted to, Roshan Khan. Roshan Khan is a quintessential Kashmiri man with a fair complexion, tall height, and chiselled face. Despite her bitter past with men, Snigdha finds herself falling for the resplendent personality of Roshan Khan.
Roshan Khan is the kind of man, Snigdha’s best friend Dimple approves of – muscular, ruggedly handsome, and attractive. He is educated and to Snigdha’s surprise speaks impeccable English. But with his track record as a terrorist, it is impossible that love may bloom between Snigdha and Roshan.
Snigdha closely experiences the horrors which loom over Kashmiri women in the wake of terrorism. Not one to take things lying down passively, Snigdha makes an attempt to escape. What follows is a thunderous chase with death lurking everywhere and an unexpected savior. To know what happens next, who is her mysterious knight in shining armor, and will she survive to tell the tale, you will need to read the novel.
The novel is like a page from the diaries of Kashmiri inhabitants who have to live with the harsh truth of danger and terrorism affecting their lives each moment. The novel, in small snippets, captures how people in Kashmir have resigned to their fate, trying their best to assume a normal life. In all the turmoil, Tanuja Shankar Khan, does not refrain from giving us what Kashmir is famous for, it’s breathtaking, enchanting and pristine beauty.
The novel is a thrilling tale of abduction, hate and love with a fast paced narrative. Once you begin reading you would not want to put the book aside. Pick up the book and get absorbed in a tale of forbidden attraction and danger.
Remember, we hosted a flash fiction challenge based on this book? Read the winning entries here.