4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Border Post 99 is a book written by Kedar Patankar. Kedar Patankar spent half of his life in Mumbai India and the other half between California and Minnesota. The poignant story is based along the volatile border between India, and Pakistan and highlights the connections of the influential people in the governments. The story is also based on the conflict between the two countries after the partition happens.
The story revolves around Lieutenant Sharma. He is a 25-year old Indian who has just graduated from the military training institution and waiting eagerly for his return home. His first deployment is at the Border 99, at the No man’s land along the volatile border between India and Pakistan where leopards and other animals roam freely. The soldier guarding an illegal post is full of fear and do not have any other choice than to follow the strict orders- Don't Shoot- of their superiors. Sharma’s main concern is when his posting will come to an end and return home to his family. Homesickness takes a toll on him.
The Lieutenant is instructed not to shoot since there are ongoing negotiations in Delhi, India and the superiors would not want any conflict. His post cannot be traced on any map and in reality, it does not exist. Every week Sharma gets mail and a drop off of food. Just like instructed, Lt. Sharma guards the Border Post 99 well and nothing transpires for the first few days.
On the other hand, there is a military man from Pakistan by the name Khan. During the six weeks, Khan expects nothing to happen also, just like anyone would. The food package and the single mail per week from home give him hope. As times goes by, Khan sees another man on the other side of the stream (border). The two soldiers who have spotted each other are taking cover behind rocks with their rifles pointing at each other. But remember orders are: DON’T SHOOT. A few days later, Sharma is ill with fever, and the seasoned military man from Pakistan army finds him unconscious. He decides to take his equipment and not to kill him. Khan and Sharma launch into a vicious duel of egos and wits that can only come to an end when one of them dies.
Some of the main themes that the author has brought out explicitly include conflict, fear, peace, and struggles, both emotional and physical.
I liked this book, and I would rate it 4 out of 4 stars, over and over again. The story flowed well and all along kept me intrigued. All the subplots are well connected and came together for an unanticipated ending. Kedar Patankar has proficiently portrayed the experiences of Khan and Sharma and their emotional and physical struggles.
Border Post 99
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like Caroll's review? Post a comment saying so!