The Songbirds by Alif

About the Book:
The Songbirds is a literary tale that goes to the heart of what’s ailing today’s world and tries to find the answers to our most pressing questions.

Amidst poetry and the innocence of youth, the love story of Kasim and Sumera sprouts in the romantic settings of Bada Ghar, the mystical house of a long-gone but not forgotten poet, Bulbul Baba, their mutual ancestor. To carve a better future for Sumera and himself, Kasim migrates West. But, once there, an increasingly westernised Kasim begins to see his for love for Sumera as taboo. So, instead, he tries to find fulfilment in London, forcefully burying his love.

However, with time, Kasim realises that the West doesn’t have the answers he is looking for and his yearning for Sumera returns, becoming stronger than ever, but a huge barrier now stands between them. Not only that, but time could also be running out because, back home, Sumera has gone on to become a fiery blogger over controversial issues, earning herself many enemies, possibly one too many.

“A meditation on love’s complicated intimacies...A stunning literary tale!”

To the free bird in all of us...

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Read some Snippets from The Songbirds

~ Snippet 1 ~

By this time, my father had built quite a reputation for himself in the local area. As a high ranking officer in the government, he had a number of acquaintances and connections, who he used to actively help arrange marriages between young Muslim men and women, with the blessings of their families.

“If I help people with alliances today, tomorrow they will help find suitable matches for my children,” he used to say.

Another thing Father was famous for was stopping love marriages. If anyone from the area eloped, against their parents’ wishes, Father would use his contacts with the police to track the eloping couple down, have them arrested on one charge or the other and get the eloping young man thrashed at the police station. There was a line from a popular Bollywood Song, which youngsters in the area modified for my father and sang behind his back.

Khurram Ali, pyar ka dushman, hai, hai!” Khurram Ali, the enemy of love, down, down!

The irony of that was not lost on me because his own son was breaking his rules.

~ Snippet 2 ~

Sumera sang very well, sounding like a songbird. I really loved it when she sang a line from the song Laila mein Laila: “Mere vaste jo mita de khudi ko.” I am looking for the one who would do anything for me. Many a time, I wanted to say that he is sitting right in front of you, but I only managed to whisper it to myself.

We boys would not have stood a chance against her singing if it weren’t for Chasme-Baddoor Chacha, a distant uncle, who also lived at Bada Ghar. It was said that no marriage in the local area would be complete without him singing at it, wearing his trade-mark yellow Kurta, with soorma around his eyes. While his actual name was Mustafa Khan, everyone called him by his nickname, Chasme-baddoor, which came from his favourite Bollywood song, “Teri pyari pyari soorat ko, kisi ki nazar na lagey, Chasme-baddoor.” I pray that your beautiful face never comes under the spell cast by jealous eyes, my love.

Download a copy on 8th or 9th May!

About the Author:
I write because silence is not an option. At the same time, my novels brim with hope in addition to having a riveting plot. My debut novel, which was published by a boutique publisher in Europe some years ago, was seen to be refreshing.

My recent novel Guns and Saffron has received exceptionally good reviews on Amazon, NetGalley and Goodreads saying that it is addictive, fresh and enlightening. The Songbirds, a literary tale, is my latest novel.