Shards of Sunlight
By: Anand Nair
Length: 298 pages
Release date: Dec 23, 2013
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Indu is eight years old and is in her 'why' phase. The year is 1942 and there is a war somewhere, which is causing a lot of problems even in the little coastal town, Thalassery, where Indu lives. But no one will tell her why her father was taken away by the police.
'Because he is a freedom-fighter,' says Ammamma, her aunt, who is in charge of the all-female household. 'What's that?' asks Indu. 'Is he a prisoner?' 'Well, yes,' she says, impatiently. 'You're always asking questions.' Indu knows she can be guilty of that. Ammamma relents.
'But really, he is a detenue, not a criminal.'
Just like adults to answer a simple question by saying something even more unfathomable.
Indu's world is full of threat, now that her safety mantle, which was the security of her father's love, is gone.
In convent school Sister Theckla is nasty. She names and shames Indu in the Maths class.
'Your father is a criminal. And you too.' Indu had been quite naughty, tying Girija's long plaits on to the slats of her bench in class.
Indu has a lot to negotiate as the years pass. This is the story of how this little girl copes with her unpredictable world