Priya Basil

Ishq And Mushq
  • Ishq And Mushq

  • 'Take off your clothes I want to see you' Karam said.Just a few words, spoken like a caress made Sarna start wondering. Where did he learn such new and passionate techniques?

    When Sarna Singh leaves the lustrous green hills of Uganda for England, streets of cramped old houses were not what she was expecting. Husband Karam has been seduced by the historical feel of the city of London. Sarna, however, is convinced they have moved to England so he can visit his secret London lady friends. Sarna has a secret of her own, but she is adept at hiding it. She impresses her English teacher with her attempt at a cutglass accent, and copious gifts of delicious food. With two children to educate, money is scarce, and soon, she is devising weekly shoplifting expeditions to the supermarket.

    But all the while, Sarna is tormented by a mistake she made as a young woman in India. To stifle unwanted memories, she cooks zealously, sweetening her thoughts with syrup, or suffocating them with the hottest spice she can find. But when she receives an unexpected letter from back home, her assumed equilibrium is shattered to the skies. It carries an ultimatum she cannot ignore ...

    Set on an epic backdrop from Partition, the Coronation and Churchill's funeral, to the present day, Priya Basil explores with compassion, the universal complexities of vanity and love. Her sensuous portrayal of the trials and tribulations of the Singh family carries universal truths for all of us.

Priya Basil was born in London and grew up in Kenya. She now lives in London and Berlin. Her first novel, Ishq and Mushq, was shortlisted for a Commonwealth Writer's Prize, and longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize for Young Writers and the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Priya's novella, Strangers on the 16:02, was one of the annual ten Quick Reads published in February 2011. In 2010 Priya co-founded Authors for Peace - a platform from which writers can actively use literature in different ways to promote peace. Please visit her website: www.priyabasil.com