About the Book
Jawar Dil is the influential and charismatic leader of a powerful Hindu clan in Khyber. His skill in maintaining peace and harmony between many different factions and amidst the complex relationships that abound in the region are legendary, but after the death of his beloved wife, he decides to retreat from public life and live as a spiritual recluse in Jalalabad.
With the clan now left dependent on Jawar’s untested son, Jai, it isn’t long before radical elements emerge to take advantage. Encouraged by Jai’s inexperience, Arfan, a Mullah with a lust for power provokes conflicts between Muslim warlords and the Hindu tribes, aided by his grandson, Ali.
It isn’t long before Jai is completely cut off and out of his depth and is unable to deal with the escalating conflict. With the rising death toll of his people, Jawar returns with his brother Jurnail and their childhood friend, Dostan, to defeat their enemies.
But there are greater problems looming. As the political situation in India hangs on a knife-edge and Muslims are calling for their own country, Arfan and Ali use it as a pretext to return and continue their war against the Dils.
Do the Dils have the power to defeat them again and see peace returned to their lands? Will the clan heed Jai’s advice and relocate to a place where they will be safe? Or will their desire to live and die in the lands they were born in be too strong to overcome?
About the Author
Om Soni is an author and entrepreneur who was born in Punjab, India, and who now lives in Detroit, MI with his wife, son, and their dog.
Through his books, he strives to deliver the facts, deliciously wrapped in exciting fiction that is hard to put down or ignore. And through them, he intends to continue to put forth the history and ideas that are buried by those who have an agenda to mislead.
With an interest in history, culture, and religion, Om enjoys traveling whenever he can. Men of Khyber is his first work of historical fiction.
Qn 1: Can you tell us more about your book What is it about?
From the times of Alexander the Great to Ashoka the Great, until the Soviet occupation and Taliban control, the mountains and valleys of Pashtunistan have seen periods of significant death and destruction. This area between Afghanistan and Pakistan, now infamous for the Taliban and Islamic terrorists, was not always like that. People of the land respected freedom of thought and different ways of worship; they favored discourse and discussion over beheadings and bombs. They listened to new ideas and philosophies even when they disagreed and embraced ideas of their own free will. For centuries these lands were part of India. Buddhism and Hinduism flourished in the areas before Islam came. Beautiful Buddhism monasteries and Hinduism temples adorned these lands.
The book tells the story of a Hindu clan that thrived in these Pashtun lands before the British decided to partition India. The partition of India created the Muslim-only country of Pakistan, while India remained a country for every religion. Men of Khyber is a riveting story of a Hindu clan’s struggle to survive in these lands tormented by radical Islam. This geographic area is referred to in the book as Khyber, the actual name of the area being Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Qn 2: Who do you think would be interested in this book, is it directed at any particular market?
The book is based on the true story of a Hindu clan who lived in Khyber. It provides a detailed account of events leading to the partition of India as facts wrapped in fiction through an unforgettable cast of characters. Men of Khyber describes the suffering of people who suddenly found themselves on the wrong side of the border after the partition of India. Through the story of a powerful Hindu clan that struggled in the new reality, the book connects the readers with that time in history – its tragedy and hope. The book is for everyone who is interested in learning more about India, its history, culture, and religions.
Men of Khyber is inspired by the true story of a clan that lived in Khyber for generations until the partition of India.
Qn 3: Out of all the books in the world, and all the authors, which are your favourite and why?
My favorite book is Anna Karenina. Leo Tolstoy did such a great job in developing characters in this book that readers feel a personal connection with them. It is such a beautifully crafted novel. I also liked The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.
Qn 4: What guidance would you offer to someone new, or trying to enhance their writing?
It took me more than four years to complete the two books. It took more than twenty revisions, multiple beta reviews before copy editing and proofreading. It is hard work and feedback/reviews are so important for an author.