Posted in Books

Book Review: The Forbidden One, by Zaarra Khader

It’s quite nice to see short story anthologies getting the spotlight nowadays. It brings new authors to the forefront of the publishing industry, and brings some fresh stories too. Even short stories by a single author seem to be coming into prominence. I am happy that this book, “The Forbidden One, by Zaarra Khader”, made its way into my collection.

My favorite story in the book is “Om Namah Shivaye”. It’s about a young devotee and her favorite god, Lord Shiva. I like this story a lot because of the child, and her love for Lord Shiva, the way she expresses it and how the people around her know that love and affectionately nickname her for it. But it’s not just that. It’s also about her mother’s love for her which is so well expressed towards the end of the story.

Another one that appealed to me was the first story, “Love is not All Black or White”. I liked it not just for the simple love story that it was, but that it felt realistic. It showed how the worst situation brings out the worst in us sometimes, but the worst can be solved by being better. Interesting, how this story ended, but I’m glad it ended that way when another seemed more likely.

The book of short stories begins with a bang, but don’t know why, the stories become less interesting to me after that. It becomes expected. Stories like “Coffee and Cake” were nicely written, but I could know where it was headed. That doused some of the interest for me. Another thing I would suggest to the author is to have a glossary at the end, if needed, to explain the Hindi terms. Having it immediately in the sentence with brackets didn’t work for me. Also, if the book is going for a second edition, I’d suggest a different cover. I didn’t find it that appealing.

What helps the book is that the stories are different and have a message to say, but it is brought down by some things like pace and editing in some places.

The Bookworm Rates This: 3/5
The Bookworm Rates This: 3/5
Book Details
Title: The Forbidden One
Author(s): Zaarra Khader Genre: Short Stories
ISBN/ASIN: B00ROTQMD4 Publisher: Frog Books / Leadstart
No. of Pages: 188 Price: Rs. 105

Reviewed for the author, who gave me a soft-copy of the book. The views expressed here are my own, frank and uninfluenced.

(© 31st March 2015)



Poetry and writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.