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Two and a Half Rivers

 | Book Awards 2022 | Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)

Two and a Half Rivers

A commentary on casteism, sociopolitical turbulence and love amid violence—Two and a Half Rivers is everything in one. A fast read, a must-read!

Full Title: Two and a Half Rivers

Author: Anirudh Kala
Publisher: Niyogi Books

Award Category: Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)
About the Book: 

A recently divorced doctor looking for seclusion relocates to an isolated house on a riverbank. The following summer, dead bodies start turning up in the river, on the roads, in trains, and on city crossings. Everybody calls it the ‘Punjab Problem’, as if it were a stubborn crossword puzzle. The doctor is kidnapped and nearly killed, once by terrorists for helping the police and once by police for helping the terrorists.

A young Dalit girl, with the dream of becoming a dancer in her eyes, and her soulmate Bheem leave their caste-ridden existence behind and relocate to Bombay. They have learnt the hard way that the preaching of oneness by their religion does not work in the real world.

Drawing its title from the historicity of the Partition which has left in its wake only two and a half rivers to India from the land of the five rivers, Anirudh Kala’s novel offers a poignant commentary on the turbulent connection between religion and terrorism.

About the Author: 

Anirudh Kala is a Ludhiana-based psychiatrist by profession. His experience as a psychiatrist shows in how he sketches out his
characters and their personality traits. This is his second book as a fiction writer, the first being The Unsafe Asylum: Stories of Partition and
Madness (2018).


She was sixteen when I saw her for the first time, lying unconscious on the examination table in my small clinic, one summer night. Once again, what had woken up her dorm mates in the girls’ hostel was the sound of her trying to force open the door, which was bolted from inside. They could hear the sound even in their sleep, despite the loud desert cooler, because she was persistent. Her eyes were open and face, blank of any expression.

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