Hamid Baig’s debut novel, Little Maryam, is very much a novel which depicts true love in the form of a story which touches your soul, without a doubt! Saadiq’s character has been designed with all the possible elements which make him a hero in the truest sense – sensible, passionate, ambitious, freakish when alone and then a person with a very big heart! Maryam also wins the hearts with her unmatched beauty and unparalleled love that she has for Saadiq Haider, the son of Haji, a gardener very famous in Dehradun. Maryam’s father is a tactful person and a colonel in Indian Army. These two, Saadiq and Maryam, meet in their childhood and eventually fall in love because they are the only ones each of them has. So, what’s there in Little Maryam that you will be excited to read as a book lover? I will break it into points this time as I am trying to offer a different kind of review of this book.

The Story: Hamid Baig’s story will seem to you very true because of the passion with which he has narrated it. It is very easy for us to believe that a guy can fall in love with a girl and vice-versa if they spend almost 10 years together and it happens. Maryam’s childhood and then her early youth pass in Saadiq’s shadow and she is inclined to her and eventually falls in love with her. The novelist does not offer a fancy narrative in which a girl falls in love with a boy in a late-night pub or the boy is fixed at a girl in some photo studio. After falling in love, they dream of their marriage which seems improbable because Colonel won’t agree so easily; Haji fears the same and he warns his son. Tragedy strikes and Saadiq is sent to jail; Maryam is married to someone else; Haji dies; Saadiq is dejected before he resurrects himself and becomes a world famous medical scientist to win the Nobel Prize! He meets Maryam again, after more than twenty years. And what transpires then? Will Maryam still love him? Will he still love Maryam? What happened to Maryam’s husband? Are there any more secrets they don’t know? You will find all this answered by the novel itself and it would be more than romance – a thrilling experience for the readers, be sure.

The Narrative: Believe me, I have never been drawn into reading a book (recently) so forcefully! Little Maryam boasts a narrative which is so compelling and encouraging that you cannot keep your copy aside before finishing it entirely. The use of memory-sequence coupled with witty exchanges and then a jump to the present before finally ending in a letter-form – amazing guys! You cannot miss a single page of it because you will be cautious if you miss the plot… just wonderful and a very skilful narrative! Hamid did not let me feel that it is his very first novel; he has been at the best of his literary art form. Even better, the novel is written in a language which will entice the readers to savour the text fast – simple and friendly and yet, very careful.

The Plot: Artful, thrilling and exciting! I have not seen a plot like this in recent years.

The Verdict: A must-read piece of fiction donning a romance with all its elements but carefully avoiding the usual explicit in the garb of ‘heat of the moment’ phrase. Little Maryam is a novel which will be remembered by you as something very exciting and mature piece of fiction – a novel you would wish to appreciate very much. A perfect one-day read is this novel and it won’t take more than a day, believe me! Hamid has done a wonderful job and he deserves the appreciation he has been receiving from the readers and the critics. You should get this novel right now and let your Sunday be an exciting Sunday filled with the aura of true love and an emotional read. The ending, believe me, will leave you with possible tears if you are a little emotional kind of reader…

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Little Maryam on Amazon India – buy now