Ten-year-old Mukta’s life changes when she is rescued from her village and taken to Mumbai by Ashok, the village zamindar’s son. Ashok gives Mukta a home, much against the wishes of his wife. Ten-year-old Mukta,destined to be a temple prostitute, finds a friend in Ashok’s eight-year-old daughter, Tara. And together, the girls look at the ever-changing sky, finding their ray of hope.
“I think our life is like the sky,” Amma sighed, as she still looked at the sky. “Sometimes, Mukta… when you look at the sky it will be dark. You will not know who to rely on. You will wonder if anyone will be able to get you out of the darkness. But believe me, someday our sky will be bright again. And it will look and smell full of hope. I don’t want you to forget that. I want you to hope, not give up.”
The events of 1993 cast their shadow on the girls’ blissful existence, with Mukta being kidnapped and Tara moving to America, after losing her mother in the riots. Guilt, memories and the need for redemption, brings Tara back to India and her search for Mukta leads her into the murky world of human trafficking. Poignantly written, Amita Trasi’s debut novel reaches out and tugs at the heart. The characters are well portrayed and Amita weaves a heart-wrenching narrative. Her use of analogies, relating to the sky, colour the plot proficiently. Sometimes, the narrative seems languorous and tedious, but that is something that can be sorted out with skillful editing. Amita’s writing style is impressive and we look forward to her next.
Artika Aurora Bakshi
Artika Aurora Bakshi is the author of two well-acclaimed children’s books,My Little Sikh Handbook, My Little Sikh Handbook 2: Ardas, and an anthology of stories, Hold On To Me. Her first story, set in Amritsar, during the pre-Partition period, All She Had Left, was published on Story Mirror.
She co-manages thegoodbookcorner.com, a manuscript help and book review site. Her passion for reading has led her to helping other writers with their manuscripts.
She comes from a family of lawyers and has a master’s degree in International Banking & Finance.
Currently based in Sri Lanka, she teaches Commerce and History on a part-time basis at an international school and enjoys being part of the literary scene in Sri Lanka. A regular at the Galle Literary Festival and other literary events in Sri Lanka, Artika’s articles and book reviews have featured in the Daily Mirror, Daily News, The Ceylon Chronicle, and various blogs, such as, talkingcranes.com, sikhchic.com, sikhnet.com.
She is actively involved with SAARC Women’s Association of Sri Lanka and was President of the Association in 2016.
An avid reader, Artika runs an online book club with a membership base of over 600 members.
Her quotes are featured under soul.nightingale on Instagram and on Soul Nightingale by Artika Aurora Bakshi on Facebook.
Artika is also working on her third children’s book in the My Little Sikh Handbook series and a second anthology of stories for adults.
You can reach Artika at firstname.lastname@example.org .