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Book Review: The Tree with a Thousand Apples by Sanchit Gupta

The Tree with a Thousand Apples

The Tree with a Thousand Apples

By Manisha Lakhe

The Tree with a Thousand Apples

Author: Sanchit Gupta

Publisher: Niyogi Books

Pages: 284

Price: Rs 350

Order your copy here 

You’d pick up The Tree with a Thousand Apples by Sanchit Gupta simply because of the stunning cover art by Misha Oberoi. It helps that the cover has a sticker that announces that the script based on the book is longlisted at the Sundance International Screenwriters’ Lab 2017. But also, you can’t wait to get embroiled in Kashmir. There are too many displaced Kashmiri poets in town and you want to know more about a book that talks about the tormented land.

For the first sixty pages or so, you will be impatient. The introduction to the characters, Bilal, Deewan and Safeena goes on and on. You get no feel for the colours of the Chinars, you don’t shiver from the cold breezes, you don’t picture the wooden homes, their creaking stairs. You only understand that the Bhats and the Maliks are neighbours, you understand how Deewan can fight for Bilal, and that Safeena is beautiful and that her tears are like diamonds and emeralds. The story takes its own sweet time to take shape, and that could be a negative for the book.

But then the action begins and the Bhats have to hide in their neighbour’s home from the burning and the pillaging. It is here that you begin to worry, to care for the characters. You realise how young they are and how the innocence of the city is systematically torn apart. Continue reading


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New Release: The Three with a Thousand Apples by Sanchit Gupta

Book Cover_The Tree with a Thousand ApplesInspired by true events, this riveting narrative traces the lives of Safeena Malik, Deewan Bhat, and Bilal Ahanagar, three childhood friends who grow up in an atmosphere of peace and amity in Srinagar, Kashmir, until the night of 20 January 1990 changes it all.

While Deewan is forced to flee from his home, Safeena’s mother becomes ‘collateral damage’ and Bilal has to embrace a wretched life of poverty and fear. The place they called paradise becomes a battleground and their friendship struggles when fate forces them to choose sides against their will.

Twenty years later destiny brings them to a crossroads again, when they no longer know what is right and what is wrong. While both compassion and injustice have the power to transform lives, will the three friends now choose to become sinful criminals or pacifist saints?

The Tree with a Thousand Apples  (Niyogi Books) is a universal story of cultures, belongingness, revenge and atonement. The stylised layered format, fast-paced narration and suspenseful storytelling makes for a powerful, gripping read.

About the Author 

Born and brought up in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, Sanchit Gupta began his career as a part-time copywriter with an advertising agency in Mumbai. He went on to co-found his own theatre group, worked as a freelance film screenwriter and as executive producer–fiction for a leading television network. His short stories have been published in several esteemed publications and literary journals, and have won acclaim in leading literary festivals and online forums. Some of them being- Tata LitLive My Story Contest, Muse India, Contemporary Literary Review India, Indian Ruminations, Qpeka and the Orange Flame Literary Review.

As a screenwriter, his script Kahwa (based on the book The Tree with a Thousand Apples) has been long-listed at Sundance International Screenwriters’ Lab- 2017. Another of his film scripts (fiction) has been long-listed at Mumbai Mantra Cinerise screenwriters’ lab- 2016. He is the co-writer of Emraan Hashmi’s first home production Captain Nawab and Rajkumar Rao- Shruti Hassan starrer Behen Hogi Teri, that shall release in May 2017.

Apart from being a writer, he is a brand management professional with a wide range of brand building and communication development experience across FMCG, automobile and media industries. His works explore his fascination for global cultures, societal structures, vagaries of the world and the human mind.

The Tree with a Thousand Apples is his debut novel. More can be found about the author and his works at www.sanchitgupta.in