Book Review: Maargir ~ The Snake Charmer by Bashir Sakhawarz
|5 stars, 1 review|
Author: Bashir Sakhawarz
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd
A highly intense, bold, brave and passionate readBooks can have the most powerful impact and restoration to the humanitarian soul. Maybe it is the powerful words, plot, or the political prose. Bashir Sakhawarz's bravery, strength, and words have touched my heart with his poignant novel, Maargir The Snake Charmer. As an American, I know that this book will be under much scrutiny. Yet, this book has received no grand book launch or publicity until today with simple honest words of an American housewife. This book contains the impassioned stories of tragedy and social truths that are of Afghanistan's lost past and present struggles. This is the story of Rahmat, Hamid, Safa, and the different paths that become enveloped in an embattled nation.
The story begins with young Hamid who has been asked by his parents to take his ill brother Rahmat to the local snake charmer. The struggle with a decision to obey the long-standing traditions or seek modern medical advances test Hamid's core. This personal trial provides much foreshadowing to Hamid and Rahmat's future with the political turmoil that begins in Afghanistan during the 1970's. Readers should not be fooled; some of the tales offer a wink of wisdom and humor. For example, as Safa and Roshan embark on the journey to the hamam, a mysterious woman who declares to be Roshan's mother's best friend manipulates the young girls. Yet, the images of this day beautifully connect to the folktale of Noso and Allah. Bashir Sakhawarz uses several poems, famous songs and political quotes as he sets an emotional mood for his novel. I personally enjoyed the song about Panjshir, the last romantic song of a revolutionary poet who was imprisoned in Iran and the many love letters written by Golo. Furthermore, the rich images of Kabul in September were breathtaking. The author is exceptionally talented with his description of the exotic flowers, kharbooza Balkh melons, and golden trees.
Bashir Sakhawarz takes great care and thoughtfulness with his topics. I admit that I was stirred emotionally several times during this book. The acid-throwing against women, brutality, rape that occurs in the prisons, and the secrets that a woman carries that only a doctor has control over, created sadness and deep humanistic sympathy within me. To reading "death to the Americans" by the Taliban and terrorist networks created a confusion and fear inside. Bashir Sakhawarz does not hide any truth from the British invasions to Russian Communist regime to the Mujahidin to the American CIA. My favorite passage came toward the end of the novel, "As long as there were fools there would be snake charmers. They had the ability to attract fools, for as long as the world existed. The world stood on two feet: that of snake charmers and fools. Without one or the other, the world would be crippled. Without both, the world could be static."
Maargir, The Snake Charmer brought laughter, tears, and provoked much thought. Each of us as individuals and nations are faced with hard decisions that will ultimately change our life forever, I always find myself wondering how we the "characters" will fare in the end. Sakhawarz gives the reader a glimpse into the past and present day Afghanistan. The decisions of which we choose to follow or manipulate. The full circle of love and growth of two brothers mirror the political upheaval caused by many nations and the influence of snake charmers. A highly intense, bold, brave and passionate read! I cannot express how deeply this book has affected me and I give the highest praise and respect toward the author. I highly recommend Maargir, The Snake Charmer by Bashir Sakhawarz. [by Ginger Dawn Harman]
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