Book review: The Color of our Sky by Amita Trasi

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  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomhill Books; First edition edition (June 30, 2015)

Book description:

India, 1986: Mukta, a ten-year-old girl from the lower caste Yellamma cult of temple prostitutes has come of age to fulfill her destiny of becoming a temple prostitute. In an attempt to escape this legacy that binds her, Mukta is transported to a foster family in Bombay. There she discovers a friend in the high spirited eight-year-old Tara, the tomboyish daughter of the family, who helps her recover from the wounds of her past. Tara introduces Mukta to a different world—ice cream and sweets, poems and stories, and a friendship the likes of which she has never experienced before. In 1993, Mukta is kidnapped from Tara’s room.

Eleven years later, Tara who blames herself for what happened, embarks on an emotional journey to search for the kidnapped Mukta only to uncover long buried secrets in her own family.

Moving from a remote village in India to the bustling metropolis of Bombay, to Los Angeles and back again, amidst the brutal world of human trafficking, this is a heartbreaking and beautiful portrait of an unlikely friendship—a story of love, betrayal, and redemption—which ultimately withstands the true test of time.

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Amita-TrasiAbout the author:  Amita Trasi was born and raised in Mumbai, India. She has an MBA in Human Resource Management and has worked with various International corporations for seven years.She loves traveling to different countries to immerse herself in different cultures and understand their history. She also regularly supports and donates to organisations that fight human trafficking. She currently lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and two cats. The Color of our Sky is is her first novel.

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REVIEW:

आशा = hope

despair – resilience – forgiveness – hope

Amita’s first novel, The Color of our Sky was both heart-rending and hopeful. Two young girls from very different backgrounds, one the descendent of a long line of temple prostitutes (Devdasi) and the other the daughter of a middle class family in Mumbai. Tara grows up in a protected environment in Mumbai. Mukta is forced into slavery as a temple prostitute against the wishes of her mother who does not want her daughter to follow in the same tradition. Miraculously, Mukta is rescued and brought to live in Tara’s home. These two girls slowly form an uneasy friendship, neither of them realising that their need for each other’s friendship will last a lifetime. When the 1993 bomb blasts kill Tara’s mother, the lives of both girls are thrust into chaos. Mukta is kidnapped and Tara follows her father to America.

The story is told from the point of view of both girls, each chapter beginning with a quote.

“It’s a futile dream – I stand by the window and watch while a dove flies to me. The dove kisses my hands and leads me to light”. – Mukta

This book describes the condition of an important social problem in India, the sex slave industry. Although realistically portrayed, it is not graphic or detailed.

The writing was eloquent and interspersed with poetic language. I highly recommend this book.

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