Set against the backdrop of the Jamnagar Helicopter crash on 30 August 2012, where two helicopters of the Indian Air Force had a mid-air collision, this story is a reality fiction, loosely based on the true story of an Air Warrior from the Indian Air Force. Narrated through the silent echo of the sorrowful heart of one the shattered families, their pain is best expressed as silent streams of tears flowing noiselessly down a pair of eyes that have intensely loved and sadly lost. Sometimes, when the heart weeps, there is only language that it understands…..Silence.
My Rating: 3 Stars
This book was based on a very touching story about a woman who lost her husband while she was pregnant. The dream entries were quite poignant but I had a bit of trouble with the rest of the manuscript as it was written in a very formal manner.
This book was interesting as it came from the perspective of an Indian woman. It speaks of the Indian culture and the expectations towards women as well as the subculture of the Indian Air Force. At times I was confused as to some of the lingo because it was written from that perspective. However, the book speaks in a humanistic way as well when it describes the tragedy and pain of losing someone close to one’s heart.
Overall, I would recommend this story because it gives unique insight into India’s cultural expectations towards women. It also speaks of the tragedy of love lost and dreams coming to an end-something everyone can relate to. If you enjoy studying other cultures or can relate to the pain of loss, this story is for you.
Where you can find Silence Under A Blue Sky:
Interview with Rajalakshmi:
1. What prompted you to write your story?
I had always wanted to do something for my husband; something that would make him proud. This story is a tribute to him, a homage to what he did for his country and the principles he stood for. Also, the support that I got from my organization helped me and my family bounce back and start living again. Hence, this book is my way of expressing my gratitude to all the men and women in blue and their families.
2. Is there anything autobiographical in your story?
Yes, it is my story. I re-live a particular event in my life through Apoorva. All the characters exist in reality. Hence, names have been changed to protect their identity. Since the story is based on a real-life incident and narrated as a fiction, hence the genre is reality fiction.
3. What would you like to accomplish as an author?
My sole aim as an author is to narrate stories that can evoke emotions and touch a chord in the reader’s heart. I wish to write about events in my organization which would bring out its humane side. Also, I want to write about things, people and places that have touched my life and brought about a positive change in me. I believe that every story has something good to offer its readers. I dream of my stories to have something to share with the readers.
4. What would you like your readers to know about you?
I would like my readers to accept me as I am. I am but one of the woman in blue who would do anything for her organization. I am a wife of a martyr and wish to continue being acknowledged as his spouse and not a widow; after all, his not being physically present in my life does not mean that he is no longer my husband. Why label me a widow, when I am still married to the man I call my husband? Above all, I am a mother who wants her children to remember their father as a man who loved his family, loved his country and loved his uniform. In short, I am like any other woman who wants to live a life of dignity and retain her sanity inspite of changes in ccircumstances.
5. If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?
If I could have one wish granted to me it would be to make sure that no woman whose spouse is dead is called a Widow. The very existence of this word acts as a stigma and makes a woman vulnerable. Its bad enough to have a spouse missing from one’s life, but it is worse to be thought of as readily available for lecherous men.
6. If you had one day in life to do whatever you wished, , regardless of cost, what would it be?
I would want a time machine to take me and my two kids into the past so as to spend that whole day with my husband. I was pregnant with my second child when he had died. I wish I could get him to meet his baby, now grown up, in person.