Hamid Baig’s novel, Little Maryam, was the one in my reading lot along with many others and one I have already reviewed, Mark’s second novel – American Maharajah. While Mark’s novel had a great story and a general plot, Hamid’s novel also had a very good plot which entices the readers to browse more. Little Maryam is about second chance romance, as the subtitle says it. However, what I found in the novel was also more about the sentimental journey of two lovers – Saadiq and Maryam, when they are almost kids and innocent beings. Mostly in Indian movies and even in the societies, only love between two people does not tantamount to marriage – and if the marriage takes place at all, that’s never easy! The same happens in Little Maryam as well.
While the first chance in this love story is not enough to unite these two lovers, they have to wait very long before they could see each other again; and in between that period of time, many things take place. Maryam is married to someone else and she is out of the scene. Saadiq goes to the USA on his merit and hard work and becomes one of the most famous medical experts in the world and even wins the most prestigious award on the earth – Nobel Prize! Seems fictitious to a great level? We are talking about a fiction all the way!
The most remarkable thing about this novel is the compelling manner in which the story is presented to the readers. Hamid, the author, seems to have planned this novel in quite silent hours. Though being a debutant, I wasn’t expecting this dexterity in his novel, I was pleasantly surprised to find it such way! The novel does not let the readers have breathers of boredom and jump the chapters or even skip the pages.
The conclusion might seem a little more than a romantic novel. It becomes over-sentimental and emotional people might cry as well as we find the character, Miller, crying while she reads the letters by Saadiq and concludes the novel.
Going deep, the critical readers will also find allusions, metaphors, rhetoric as well as some hints towards our losses on the greener front. When Saadiq and Maryam get back from Delhi to Dehradun, they are shocked to see the changing contours of the city. More and more buildings and factories and commercial complexes and forests have been vanishing… as a gesture, Maryam and Saadiq try to save a tree from dying.
Nevertheless, who goes deeper these days? On the entertainment and reading pleasure front, Little Maryam is a splendid contemporary novel which will offer you great delight and very satisfactory reading experience.
On the front of demerit, you might find the novel a dissuading over-fictitious work of fiction at times, if you are not a fan of hero-worship in fiction. At times, you will be knowing that Saadiq is wrong but he has been heroised by the author more than necessary and there you might find it a little bit of Marlowean dilemma of hero worship at any cost!
Anyway, readers, if you want something special for the weekend in your Kindle reader, you can surely go for this novel, Little Maryam. If you are still a paper-book fan, go for the paperback copy. Below is the link to the novel on Amazon which will open in a new tab:
review by Amitesh
Little Maryam by Hamid Baig
- Overall IBL Rating