an untimely death – tendai huchu

An Untimely Love

I was asked to review this book back in January, but as I am sure you’re aware, I have been a little behind on my book reviews this year…I am now trying to rectify this!

Living in London on the day of the 7th July bombings, the subject matter was a complete draw to me.  Khalid Patel, a young Muslim lad is travelling to London as a suicide bomber, however, on the way he meets fellow terrorist Selina (Smokey) and is immediately drawn to her.

Is it too late to change his mind? What will the repercussions be if he does? Does she feel the same way? Could there actuall9y be more to life than he thought?

First of all I have to say, please don’t be put off by the cover – yes it totally summarises the book, but it IS truly,m truly awful.  I was a little wary about agreeing to read it at first, a large part of me was worrid that it would be chock-a-block full of religion and why the 7/7 bombers probably felt they needed to do what they did.  OK, that has it place, but as ‘entertainment’ i din’t really relish the thought of wading through it all.

It’s nothing like that though.  The voice of Khalid sounds just like any other young British lad really.  He’s a bit cock-sure, a bit ‘innit’, but doesn’t really have much life experience.  He has ideals though, and at the start of the story he is very sure that he is doing the right thing. “Children in classrooms across the globe will read in their text books of the heroic sacrifice mad eby Khalid, Imran, Selina and Tariq (I being the first by virtue of the alphabet).”

Once he starts questioning whether there is more to the world as it is though, it all unravels with shocking consequences.

I really enjoyed it. It was a very easy read, even though the subject matter was anything but easy.  It really is a story of love though – first love, familial love and the love of friends that will stand by your side.

empty on the inside

It was silent, but my fellow commuters certainly noticed I'd let one drop!

Tonight, on my way home from work, I was fortunate enough to be a witness to one of those small miracles of London living – the holy grail of the rush hour commute – an empty tube train on the Victoria line.

And this wasn’t at the end of the line – this was 5.45pm at Euston!

You could hear the gasp of awe and wonder as it slowed down.  the previous tube had only been going as far as Seven Sisters, and there were ‘minor delays’, so a Walthamstow train hadn’t come along for about 10 minutes.  we all knew how crowded the next Walthamstow tube was going to be.  we’d all mentally squished ourselves, re-arranging our internal organs in order to take up the minimum space possible, eyeing up our ‘competition’ to the left and the right who may try to steal ‘our’ space in oblivion.  But all hail Saint Lou, patron saint of the London Underground (OK, so it was Velvet Underground, but it’s close enough), this was a miracle befitting our daily pilgrimage…a glorious empty space, bereft of hot, tightly-packed sweaty bodies.

We actually smiled at each other as we got on and all gratefully lowered our weary posteriors into the lovely squashy red and blue  upholstery.  People were even speaking to each other…OK, so it was nothing more than “Oh wow, an empty train, that’s amazing!”, “Yes, who would have thought?”…but that’s beside the point.  When we arrived at Highbury & Islington, we all grinned through the windows at the latest dumbstruck travellers, enjoying their looks of awe and glee.  And then we got to Finsbury park, and about 600 people got on, and the spell was broken.

I will always remember that little oasis of calm after my hectic day 🙂

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