by Amir Ullah Khan
A Bond So Sacred is Usha Rajagopalan’s tryst with a most fascinating era in modern Indian history. There is so little written about ordinary lives during the freedom struggle that what happened less than a hundred years ago appears so exotic and remote. Raman and Kokila are siblings who live during the twentieth century, with each mega event casting its shadow on their personal lives; The struggle against untouchability, emancipation of women, the salt agitation, widow remarriage, freedom from the British, the trauma of partition and the India Pakistan wars that follow. Each of these incidents come alive through the lives of these two protagonists who take us through the making of modern India and its various trysts with tradition and modernity. Vey subtly, the novel brings in Gandhiji and Vaikom Basheer, among other stalwarts who become players in this story of a few simple people wanting to live a full life with their loved ones.