Frontlist | Micro review: ‘A Burning’ by Megha Majumdar
‘A Burning’ by Megha Majumdar is an eye-opening look at the struggles of life in India.
The story is told by three characters and how an incident and their reactions affected them all differently. There is Jivan, a Muslim girl from the slums, her friend Lovely who is a hijra and her PT Sir who has big political dreams. When a terrorist attack on a train occurs Jivan calls out the government and police on their handling of it on social media and suddenly her life is turned upside down. She is accused of being a part of the attack and her background seems to damn her. Lovely can provide an alibi but she is given a good incentive not to and PT Sir is determined to use this to his advantage.
Written without drama in a spare style, this book highlights the injustice of life to those in some parts of India depending on their birth. The author’s attention to detail in depicting the horrors of the all the characters life is excellent and the diversity of the protagonists shows many aspects of social and political evils. The story also shows the difficulty of making the selfless or even ethically correct choice in some circumstances and addresses the darkness many people have within them, waiting for the right occasion to show itself. The book openly showcases issues that need to highlighted more frequently in a story that moves with the pace of a crime thriller, keeping readers transfixed.