BY Harsimran Kaur  ON Jan 04, 2021  IN BOOK REVIEWS, The Heart asks Pleasure First 

They say love holds no boundaries. But, it does.

 They say love is eternal. But it eludes us when we need it the most.

They say love is blind. But it sees the pain and the yearning of the mortified soul.

In spite of the ordeals love goes through, it is still beautiful, aroused by the magnanimity of the flickering hearts, unabated and indefatigable, crossing miles to find a home as comforting as the last morsel of food charting its way to the body, ready to be churned. We see this element of love between Aaftab and Daya – a yearning so inescapable, a belonging so intoxicating and an adieu so poignantly entrenched in their hearts.

Aaftab is a Muslim from Pakistan. Daya is a Hindu from India—a road less travelled. They meet at Cardiff, Wales and thus begins a journey of unpardonable love – a love barricaded by the perpetual Hindu-Muslim divide carrying an enormous burden of the ramification of the gruesome partition, and the indispensible religious values acting as a plaque narrowing the subtlety of it.

The author Karuna Ezara Parikh has written a formidable story at the backdrop of Muslim inhibitions, Hindu liberalism, unsavoury fanaticism and an unfading friendship. Her first book “The Heart asks Pleasure First” resonates how love transcends religion, age and the cultural imbroglio. The characters are impeccably defined to their taste for life governed by their ulterior motive to be loved. It’s a story about Aaftab and Daya, sacrificing their love for an intrinsic war of beliefs and prejudices. It’s a story about Aaftab and Wasim and their love for Daya. It’s a story about Gyan and Asha who give their daughter Daya the freedom to choose her life and are betrayed by life themselves. 

Take Away 

The love story of Aaftab and Daya is sad. With some moments of passion and belongingness, love does not give them the authority to live life as per their set of beliefs and ideologies.  They travel different paths to make their love sanctimonious which would be blasphemous if they were to be together.  The cascading truth always knocks us time and again of the brutal religious fervour has on our defining relationships.  It’s a heart touching book conveying the matters of the heart in true honesty.  

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