Friday, 23 December 2016

Six Minutes of Terror by Nazia Sayed and Sharmeen Hakim: a review

11th of July 2006 was one day that shook everyone and even though back then, all I knew of the incident was faint stuff my mother had told me. Over the years, I went on read more and more about that incident and the many others that happened as such. 10 years and a few months from that date, it is 2016 when I get to see that there’s this book on the same terror attacks that has come up. When I laid my first glance at it, I knew that I had to read it no matter what and I knew this nonfiction title, Six Minutes of Terror by Nazia Sayed and Sharmeen Hakim would be one informative ride. For the ones who are reading this right now, here’s for you the blurb of the book.

According to the blurb- 7/11: the day Mumbai came to a standstill. The Mumbai train bombings on 11 July 2006 were one of the deadliest attacks the city had seen after the 1993 blasts. The terror strike aimed to cripple the city by disrupting its lifeline- the local train network. A series of seven explosions in a span of only sex minutes at seven railway stations rocked the financial capital of India, killing 189 and injuring over 800. Six minutes of terror is the first investigative book that presents a blow by blow account of the events that led to the onslaught. It profiles the people involved in the blasts and describes how the plot was unearthed by the police. Superbly researched with painstaking detail, the book tries to delve into the minds of the home grown terrorists- who wreaked unprecedented havoc and claimed innocent lives- ten years after the horrifying attacks.

I would start my take on the book by taking a note of the authors of the book. While Nazia Sayed had been a crime reporter, Sharmeen is a legal correspondent. When you get to read something written by them about an event that shook the nation, you are sure to find it interesting and worth the time that you spend on the book. Saying that, the authors have chosen a suiting title for the book, six minutes of terror. The title catches the attention along with the eye grabbing front cover. I mention ‘eye grabbing’ because it is seen that a majority of nonfiction titles don’t have such catchy covers.

The book starts with a sketch. Of the trains and the bombings along with the time that the blasts happened. Now this is a very interesting thing because it helps sketch out what the whole idea is and what had actually happened. What I loved about the sketch is that it is perfectly labelled. Then follows a timeline of events that happened from 2001 to 2015 which makes it easier and more interesting to read. For a person (there are very few of them, though) who doesn’t know about the incident, this serves as the perfect book for a complete knowledge on the topic.

Now, the story. Do I have to say about it? I will refrain. What I would rather speak of is the presentation. The way event by event and point of view by point of view the whole book is presented to the readers, they can’t help but be interested about it and they would feel like knowing more about it. The questions, each one of them that might have arisen are answered through the book. The language that it is written is very easy to read and even the layman would be able to read it. Detail is the key and this book proves that to its readers. Somewhere down the book, there are pictures of a few people. Terrorists, blasts, survivors and I would say that this is one thing that would make this book all the more worthwhile. If I have to speak of the cons of the book then I couldn’t find any. For me, this must read is 5 out of 5.

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