Indeed the author has traversed into uncharted waters by writing the story of Lt Ummer Fayaz , covering his entire journey from birth to his joining National Defence Academy and becoming an Officer in Indian Army and finally how he was brutally murdered by armed militants on 09 May 2017 when he was on leave in his native place in Kashmir.
Compliments to the author for meticulous research and the kind of efforts she would have required to get permissions for visiting units, training institutions and further getting interviews and inputs from all concerned who have touched or were part this youngster’s life.
The narrative and the storyline have been beautifully built up, with one chapter narrating the story of Ummer and the subsequent one narrating the author’s research work wherein she interacts with the various army officers, travels and interacts with his parents, teachers and visits his unit, school and coursemates etc. This further enhances the biographical account of the martyr and brings us closer to his life story.
Indeed Bhaavna has attempted to bring out the real problem, through her research, about the problems that the current generation of Kashmiris are facing and manages to touch a few of the reasons for their discontent, which makes this book a must read for everyone who must be hearing about the Kashmir problem day in and day out.
The book brings out the narrative that when picking up the gun was the easiest and most common thing to do for all youngsters in the valley, Ummer believed that education was the only way forward for youngsters to grow in Kashmir and he decided to join National Defence Academy, instead. He wanted to be a positive role model for all the kids in Kashmir. Ironically, he got murdered by militants in the very place he was born to threaten and discourage anyone else who wants to join the Indian Army.
The only thing missing in this book is illustrations of this 22-year-old boy, which would have further immortalized him. Must read.
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