March 7 2018

‘Little Maryam’ by Hamid Baig

Blurb: While giving an acceptance speech for his Nobel Prize nomination, Dr. Saadiq Haider, a renowned gene therapist and professor at Stanford University, receives a phone call that changes his life. Abandoning his duties and responsibilities, Saadiq hurriedly boards a flight bound for India, embarking on a journey that spans thousands of miles and pulls him back into a past Saadiq thought long-buried. Seated next to him on the flight, Anne Miller-an intrepid journalist with a nose for headline news-senses the reclusive genius has a story to tell. During the flight, Anne manages to break through Saadiq’s hard exterior and listens, rapt, as he unfurls a tale fraught with love and heartbreak. His story transports Anne back in time to a small, sleepy town nestled in the mountains of northern India, where Saadiq spent his childhood. Through Saadiq’s narrative, Anne meets Maryam and witnesses the friendship between Maryam and Saadiq mature into an intense love; a love that is tested when tragedy strikes and the lovers are separated. Try as they might, their devotion is no match against the workings of fate, and the tighter Saadiq and Maryam cling to one another, the faster they slip apart. Now, after two decades of trying to forget his past with alcohol and drug abuse, Saadiq tells Anne that fate has acted again; Maryam is the hospital, her condition critical. When their plane lands in India, the newfound friends part ways and while Saadiq rushes to Maryam’s side, Anne returns to her life, grateful to have met the enigmatic man. Months later, Anne learns that after wrenching Maryam from the indomitable grip of death, Saadiq took her back to America, where they finally married. But, her assumption that the greatest love story she had ever known would end happily is shattered when Anne receives devastating news

About the author: Hamid runs a successful market research company, providing customer insights to some of biggest names in the industry. He is a voracious reader and has been one for as long as he can remember. He started penning short stories at a very young age, but never thought of writing a full length novel until the idea for Little Maryam popped into his head. He writes as fast as he reads, which is sometimes just a little too fast. Apart from enjoying good books, Hamid is passionate about travel and food. He is sometimes called “the culture connoisseur” by his friends because he loves having long conversations about different cuisines, exotic travel locations, and of course, books. Hamid lives in New Delhi with his wife and two wonderful kids.

Review: Hamid Baig’s – Little Maryam, is an emotional journey. It is about two kids who meet for the first time, move steadily through their childhood fall in love with each other and get separated because of opposed circumstances. The story is about Saadiq Haider and Maryam, the daughter of an army man in Dehradun. Saadiq – son of Haji, is a very admired gardener of the same place. Maryam’s father, likes Saadiq but does not approve of his marriage with her and circumstances sends Saadiq to jail in a murder of Ritesh, local politician Ashish’s son who was Saadiq’s good friend too. There is a point in the book where Anne Miller finds letters written by Saadiq, story goes back into a flashback. The gathering of Maryam and Saadiq is in present – the lovers unite after really long time. The suspense in the last few chapters is definitely to make the reader nervous to know what happened to Saadiq and Maryam. How does this love story end? I am not spilling out any beans; you have to read to know it.

It is just not possible to avoid mentioning few quotes from the book which touched me a lot.

*We, as human beings are the only ones with the power to help or hurt ourselves or others.

 *Not every man with a heart is understanding, not every man with ears is a listener.

 *We can’t fear dictate our lives.

The novel is too emotional making the reader difficult to hold back their tears. Author Hamid has shown his cleverness of holding the reader well. I did not feel this to be a debut novel. The story is also well crafted which makes the book a page turner. I like stories which have romance, love, heartbreak, happiness, laughter, happiness, betrayal, separation and sorrow. I definitely read this book as the blurb grabbed my attention well. The language used is simple and reader-friendly. Readers will not have any problem in understanding the story. It is a passionate love story, but has no sexual content which is usually found in romantic novels. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I would surely recommend to those who love reading tragic and emotional love stories.

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