This House of Clay and Water by Faiqa Mansab
It had all begun so well, just like how things ended in fairy tales…
Faiqa Mansab’s award-winning thesis is the foundation on which This House of Clay and Water has been built.
Intertwining the stories of the affluent, yet ever-seeking Nida, the middle-class Sasha, whose dreams have made her break all her shackles, and Bhaangi, the flute-playing Hijra, Faiqa Mansab steers the readers towards existential introspection, especially in context of the prescribed norms and cultural ethos of the subcontinent, Lahore being the centre stage for this soulful narrative…Lahore was a city I used to call home. My laughter had echoed in the great carnival of this city. My sons had reverberated in its stillness. I had found and lost here what I thought was love. I had found and lost here what I now knew to have been love. This was the city of people I had loved, and who claimed to have loved me, but had then asked me to divide myself to prove it….
Fate brings the three together in the dargah of Daata Sahib, where bound together as outcasts, they untangle the complexities of their lives. They cry, they laugh and they fall in love…
Deftly written, this debut novel is a page-turner. The indiosyncracies of the society shade the narrative effectively, with cheeky references to “Familia Horribilus”,the in-law family of course, and the secret aspirations of millions of women, with clipped wings, smiling through the highs and lows of married lives. Add to it, what goes through the mind of a hermaphrodite.
Definitely worth reading!
Artika Aurora Bakshi
Artika Aurora Bakshi is the author of three well-acclaimed children’s books,My Little Sikh Handbook, My Little Sikh Handbook 2: Ardas, My Little Sikh Handbook: Travel Journal, 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 was 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 fourth 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 .