Shalimar the Clown

Author: Salman Rushdie
Type: aBook
Date Released: 0000
Format: mp3
Language: English
Page Count: 0
Isbn10 Code: -
Isbn13 Code: -

The central character, India, is an illegitimate child of a former United States ambassador to India Maximilian Ophuls. Although a number of narratives and incidents in the novel revolve around Kashmir, the novel opens in Los Angeles, U.S.A. Max Ophuls, a U.S. diplomat who has worked in the Kashmir Valley, is murdered by his former chauffeur, Shalimar. Several flashbacks take the readers to the past, and one learns that Shalimar, the clown, was once full of affection, love and laughter. He lived in the Kashmiri village of Pachigam. His skill on the tight rope earned him renown in his village and the name Shalimar the clown. At a young age, he falls in love with a beautiful Hindu girl, Boonyi. The village elders agree to the marriage and all seems fine, except that Boonyi doesn't want to remain stuck in this small village. Things come to a turn when Maximilian comes to the village and becomes enamored with Boonyi. With the help of his assistant he gets her a flat in Delhi, and an affair blooms. A scandal erupts when Boonyi gets pregnant and Max is forced to return. The child, India, is brought to England by Maximilian's wife. Shalimar was deeply in love with Boonyi and couldn't bear her betrayal. The rest of his life had as major purpose to take revenge on the people that were the cause of his unhappiness. For this purpose he joins up with various Jihadi organisations and becomes a renowned assassin. Maximilian, a hero of the French resistance movement in World War II, now becomes the American ambassador for counter-terrorism, a euphemism for covert operations. Shalimar reaches America and works as Max's driver for some time. He kills Max on the day he gives his notice. Shalimar is finally presumed killed by India who avenges her parents' death--but the end is actually a cliffhanger. The story portrays the paradise that once was Kashmir, and how the politics of the sub-continent ripped apart the lives of those caught in the middle of the battleground.

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