Bahir
Author: Monisha K. Gumber
Publisher: Leading Trails
Rating: 3.5/5

The objectification of women is not a new concept. Their existence is seen merely for entertainment, pleasure and reproduction. The scenario becomes bleaker when we talk about countries that have a majority of illiterate people who believe in being a follower rather than thinking for themselves and choosing a path. Bahir by Monisha Gumber gives a peek into the life of one such woman who suffers at the hand of destiny and doesn’t find peace anywhere she goes. The story of her life is gut-wrenching, overwhelming yet inspiring. Like a phoenix who rises from the ashes, Sawera, the protagonist, makes an earnest effort to overcome all odds and eventually strives to make her life better.

Coupled with an easy narrative, this poignant story traces Sawera’s life in Saudi Arabia as a child. When young, she is adored and considered a blessing. When her foster parents bear a child of their own, they disregard Sawera, eventually marrying her off to her cousin in Pakistan. Life still remains meaningless, for Sawera, quite contradictory to her name, doesn’t see the rays of the morning sun! She becomes a victim of physical, verbal and mental abuse. But when the water goes over the head, she decides to put an end to her misery. Escaping to Saudi hoping her life will become worth living, she takes the plunge into the deep waters. With four children to support, it isn’t as easy as it seems.

Powerful and engaging, Bahir belongs to the category of realistic fiction. The name ‘Bahir’ has been probably used as the metaphor here because people with this name are visionary. The genuine moments of torture and injustice make you feel pity for the main character. However, at times, I felt the descriptions to be drab; they hindered my pace of reading. I could also spot grammatical errors here and there and that’s why this rating.

Overall, Bahir is worth reading, for it gives an insight into the life of Sawera, or rather into the lives of most such women who lose their identity and self-respect in their quest to find love and care.

Best wishes to the author!

Buying link: Amazon

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