Entranced from the very first sentence… Skeena

By Ranbir Johal

It has been many years since a novel has entranced me from the very first sentence. One from my childhood, is the children’s classic, Anne of Green Gables, another from my youth is Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy; and now, another to add to my list is Fauzia Rafiq’s Skeena.

From the very first moment that I began to read it (when picking it up in my friend’s car), Fauzia had transported me into that room in the village where Skeena was having trouble concentrating on her homework due to the noise of the children playing outside. At times it seemed to me that I even became Skeena, seeing what she saw, hearing what she heard, feeling what she felt.

This was one of those rare novels that made me neglect my duties at work and at home – leaving all other deadlines and priorities aside as I devoured the novel, journeying with Skeena through her life.

I do wish to give Fauzia’s novel full justice with a written review, but those duties that I neglected while reading Skeena have caught up with me again. I hope this little post will suffice in encouraging everyone to purchase and read this book, until I have time to dedicate to detailed written response to the novel.

– any excuse to reread it!!

First published by Ranbir Johal as a comment on Sadhu Binning’s review of Skeena at Uddari Weblog, July 8, 2011.

Ranbir is a teacher, researcher and a cultural activist working in part with Kwantlen College in Surrey BC. Contact Ranbir at ranbir.johal@kwantlen.ca


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  1. #1 by Anonymous on July 14, 2011 - 8:28 am

    sakina kch pehlay mery hath lagi, aj me bukhar me jal rahi hon, noro k manay bal,k katal se agay me parh nahi pai abi tk… tehreer ha kia? ik ik lafz, ik ik kardar, ik ik kahani sb ki, otna sch jitna is wqt mra zinda hona ha….,


  2. #2 by Jagdish Kaur on July 8, 2011 - 12:35 pm

    I agree with Ranbir Ji. It is beautifully written,
    Skeena’s journey through passages of life has been intricately explained, her thoughts and sentiments are felt by the reader.
    I loved it and will recommend to all my friends.
    Thanks to my friend Fauzia Ji!!


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