The carpet weaver – book review

How do you describe a story of a gay refugee fleeing from the civil war in Afghanistan? How do you describe a story showing Islam being wronged by its followers? How do you describe a story which talks about yearning and tender love set against a tough, unforgiving environment?

The carpet weaver wasn’t an easy read for me. But thank goodness I read it.

My innate Islamophobia was being confronted as I read the book. I realised that this is a religion that has been wronged and that which continues till date. Its followers use Islam as a tool to shield their own ignorance, phobias and criminality. All through the book you see characters doing horrendous inhuman atrocities in the name of Islam. But the beauty of Nemat Sadat’s writing is such that, that without preaching, he’s able to present Islam in its true glory. The connotations are so delicate, so rich which had me challenge the origins and necessity of my islamophobia.

I think I am on the path to changing my beliefs.

This book also depicts the depravity of being a refugee. Basically nobody cares if you are a refugee. You don’t have an identity. The world is too busy to care about your non existence! Nemat gives a sneak peek into the perils of such a life and that was extremely unsettling.

Finally the love story of Kanishka and Maihan. The innocence of their candid romance, the thrill and beauty of their sensuality though peppered with moral conflicts and bullying has been reflective of my own growing up years to an extent.

Afghanistan has never looked so appealing and beautiful. Thank you Nemat for outlining it’s culture and traditions in the most honourable manner possible.

The bombings, the destructions, the war have reduced the country to a rubble. It saddens me. I do feel the urge to travel to Afghanistan someday since reading the book. But I am talking from a place of supreme privilege. It’s discombobulating. Is it unauthentic too?