Monday, February 24, 2014

The Chief Minister’s Assassin – A Novel

Phew! It’s done. Finally! My second novel is done editing and is currently being readied for publishing; it will be out second / third week of March insha’Allah.

Having worked on it off and on for the last three long years plus, I feel lost not having to slog over it anymore. Strangely, the feeling is not unlike, perhaps, withdrawal effects of narcotics? Not that I do / ever did drugs. Oops... a cigarette now and then maybe... Pan Paraag with Baba 160 sometimes perhaps... It is a solitary job, writing is. Unlike ordinarily going to office and interacting with colleagues, writing is a very solitary affair, with only my mind to network with. There were days, my mind wanting, struggling for creative ideas, I would find myself audibly arguing with my mind. You realize what people talking to themselves are immediately regarded as, no?

The novel is set against the backdrop of the Hindu – Muslim riots that took place in February 2002 and the subsequent massacre of over 2,000 defenseless Muslims. This mayhem, arson, bloodshed and killings were largely ignored and in many instances perpetrated by the very people who were supposed to protect the victims: the security forces and their bosses all the way to the top executive. The story, in narrative style, draws on three main characters, Salmaan, Preeti and Akaash, their lives and the destinies that ultimately draw them together. Their stories begin in Gujarat then move to Mumbai, India.

The novel is an easy read, I think, although talking or reading about mayhem and gore is never palatable. Yet, it is witty and downright funny at times. It will certainly sadden you but hopefully make you laugh as much. This is what Hussain Zaidi, author of bestselling novel Dongri to Dubai has to say about The Chief Minister’s Assassin:

'...highly riveting...profoundly gripping...Yusufali spins a darn good will keep you awake at night!’

I must caution the book is not for the young as it has violence, gang activities, street language and some situations that some may find unpalatable? This was unavoidable due to the real terrible violence that did take place and the story would have felt hollow and superficial without the ‘real feel’ of gangster life of Mumbai. This book is a novel, a creation of my imagination and thus has no bearing on reality, even though many places and personalities I talk about are very real.

It is not a religious book, for sure. I state this because as CEO of CAI and her charitable activities, I am sometimes, incorrectly of course, viewed as a ‘religious’ man. Also, it may be viewed as a ‘religious’ book because proceeds from the sale of its print version go towards the construction of a girl’s school and orphanage project in Afghanistan.

This said, I urge you to pre-order a limited print-version, signed copy now for US$100 each, delivered anywhere in the world. All proceeds will go towards the school / orphanage project, I am not retaining a single penny. You will also be able to purchase an eBook version for much less later but these limited print books will benefit a very good cause insha’Allah. The school / orphanage will be constructed in a ‘safe’ area of Kabul, giving an opportunity for sixty very poor (some abused) girl orphans a change at a quality education and decent, safe and healthy living quarters, with three square meals, clothes, medical care and very caring people to take care of them insha’Allah. The school will cater for three hundred girls; profits from it will supplement the operating expenses of the orphanage.

For those individuals coming to the fundraiser for the same project at Imam Ali Center in New Jersey on April 26, you can collect your reserved copy at the function; please advise so we can make appropriate arrangements.

Enjoy insha’Allah.

Reserve / pay for a print version here.

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