Abida Mian's Blog

Off the beaten track – living, learning and being myself…

Partitions by Amit Majmudar

Partitions by Amit Majmudar

Ever since I was a young child, I’ve loved reading. My dad would encourage us, and bought lots of books, spanning different genres. After not seeing him for months at a time, we’d all tuck up in bed, and he’d read us a story, unfortunately, half way through he’d fall asleep, and start snoring :)

For me reading offers excitement, escapism, inspiration, and knowledge. It’s been a while since a book has enthralled me. On Easter Monday, the weather was miserable, there was nothing decent on TV, and I recalled my sister in-law telling me about a book she borrowed from our study called Partitions, she said she was so eager to know the ending, that she stayed up a few nights just to finish it (no mean feat as a mother of a young child & job as a nurse). I picked it up early that morning, and by the afternoon had read it.

Partitions is a fictional story set amongst the chaos of July 1947 (division of India into Pakistan). The reader follows the journey of the persecution of each religious group (Hindu, Muslim & Sikh) as told by a man. This man/the narrator happens to be the father of twin Hindu boys, Keshav and Shankar. They are fleeing Pakistan for India with their mother, Sonia (a Christian), but somehow get lost from her during their train journey, and the brothers are left to defend for themselves. Then we meet Dr Masud, an elderly well-respected paediatrician, who had his own clinic in India, but as a Muslim, he has to abandon his home and head towards Pakistan. The final character is Simran, a teenage Sikh girl, who flees from her home after realising that her father and male relatives decide to poison her mother, sisters, and young brother, so that they don’t get abused at the hands of Muslims. She embarks on a journey to Amritsar, but on her way, she gets taken captive by three Muslim men looking to exploit vulnerable young women and sell them to men.

Partitions captivates the reader; I was genuinely moved by the characters, eager to know whether they’d escape harm. By the end of the story, you reel at man’s worst capabilities (men exploiting women, the caste system, religious hatred), but there is also much love and kindness, the glimpses of the acts of essential goodness that save us from despair. Keshav & Shankar, Dr Masud and Simran all originally embark on their separate journeys, but in the end their paths cross, three different religious groups in unity. There are a few twists to the story, making this is a traumatic but enriching journey from which no reader can emerge unaffected.

May Dress by Jones and Jones

May Dress Jones and Jones Yellow

May Dress Jones and Jones Yellow

Cute sixties style dresses in serbert-hue colourways.

May Dress Jones and Jones

May Dress Jones and Jones

The Whitepepper

The White Pepper Spring 14

The White Pepper Spring 14

I’ve always got an eye out for unique pieces, and came across this brand, the whitepepper, whilst browsing topshop’s website. I like their pink floral shirt dress and midi skirt as part of their Spring 14 collection.

The White Pepper Shirt Dress in Floral Print

The White Pepper Shirt Dress in Floral Print

The Whitepepper Spring 14

The Whitepepper Spring 14

 

Cath Kidston finally makes a size 6 for Spring/Summer

I’ve been a fan of Cath Kidston for years, but they’ve only recently created size 6 clothes. Their current Spring/Summer 2014 collection features two beautiful prints, Aubrey Rose & Painterly Rose.

Aubrey Rose Skirt by Cath Kidston

Aubrey Rose Skirt by Cath Kidston

Aubrey Rose Print

Aubrey Rose Print

 

Cath Kidston Painterly Rose Dress with Collar

Cath Kidston Painterly Rose Dress with Collar

Cath Kidston Painterly Rose Dress with Collar 3

Cath Kidston Painterly Rose Dress with Collar

Painterly Rose Skirt

Painterly Rose Skirt

 

Orla Kiely Floral Birdcage Umbrella

Practical as well as stylish umbrella for cheering me up when it rains. Bought the last one online at John Lewis for £32.

Orla Kiely Vinyl Floral Birdcage Umbrella

Orla Kiely Vinyl Floral Birdcage Umbrella

Ditsy Dorothy Dress

Ditsy Dorothy Dress by French Connection

Ditsy Dorothy Dress by French Connection

Ok, I’m now officially in love with this pretty dress from French Connection. The colour is described as Tea Tree with pink floral embroidery all over. At £195, I’m not sure I can justify wearing this often enough for the price, so I may just swoon over it :)

Ditsy Dorothy Dress

Ditsy Dorothy Dress

 

Ditsy Dorothy Dress

Ditsy Dorothy Dress

French Connection Wind Jammer Stripe Pencil Skirt

I really want this; a bit different to the normal pencil skirt. Add nude tights (Wolford are the best), court shoes, and a fitted shirt – not a fan of the t-shirt combo as below. Just need the weather to warm up…

French Connection Wind Jammer Stripe Pencil Skirt

French Connection Wind Jammer Stripe Pencil Skirt

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