Salman Rushdie’s Shalimar The Clown tells the story of three characters and a fourth who links them all. A story of love gone wrong because of a shallow affair, Shalimar The Clown takes the readers through a story which begins in California, but finds an end in Kashmir.
Maximilian Ophuls, a former United States Ambassador to India, is murdered by Shalimar, his former chauffeur, in Los Angeles. Shalimar The Clown then takes the readers through a series of flashbacks, back to a time when Shalimar actually knew love, laughter and happiness. Shalimar was a resident of the village Pachigam in Kashmir and was adept at walking the tightrope. This skill earned him the name Shalimar The Clown.
Shalimar falls in love with Boonyi, a Kashmiri Pandit girl at a very young age. The elders in the village approve of their relationship and marriage, but Boonyi wants a life outside the small village. Things take a drastic turn when Maximilian comes to the village. He takes a liking to Boonyi, and gets her a flat in Delhi. An affair blooms between the two, which ends up with Boonyi getting pregnant. The scandal that follows forces Maximilian to leave for England, and the baby, India, is taken to England by his wife.
Shalimar turns into a desolate figure, determined to take revenge on those responsible for his misery. He joins and trains with multiple jihadi organizations in Afghanistan and in the Philippines and in the process, becomes a well known assassin.
Kashmir plays a pivotal part in the theme of the story. The author stresses on how the land of Kashmir was once a beautiful place, and how the sub-continental politics played their part in disrupting the peace of the land, and of the people who inhabited it.
About Salman Rushdie
Salman Rushdie is a well-known British author whose works are mainly set in the Indian subcontinent. He mainly mixes historical fiction with magical realism.
He has written several novels like Grimus, Midnight’s Children, The Satanic Verses, Fury, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, The Enchantress of Florence and The Moor’s Last Sigh. He has written children's books as well like Luka and the Fire of Life and Haroun and the Sea of Stories.
Born in Bombay in June 1947, Salman Rushdie’s schooling started in Mumbai at Cathedral and John Connon School and was completed at Rugby School in England. He completed his graduation in history from King’s College, University of Cambridge.
Sir Rushdie at his best
12 Aug, 2016
A love story and a lost paradice
9 Feb, 2015
Very well written
17 Aug, 2012
1 Feb, 2012
An excellent read
16 Oct, 2011