The Night Diary by Veera Hirandani
By the time that I reached the concluding chapter of The Night Diary, Veera Hiranandani had succeeded in shattering my heart into a thousand tiny pieces.
At the tender age of twelve, Nisha's world has already been turned upside down. Living with her widowed father, younger brother Amil, and grandmother, she already experiences tension at home, as her grieving father plunges himself into his work as a physician at the Mirpus Khas city hospital. He becomes cold and aloof to his children, particularly to Amil.
However, life for Nisha becomes immensely more difficult after the 1947 partition of India. Two self-governing countries, India and Pakistan, are created to separate Muslim and Hindu populations.
Nisha's father is Hindu and her mother was Muslim. Nisah's family is forced to leave the India that they know and cross the Pakistani border. The journey becomes dangerous as religious hostilities escalate. Note: The author asserts that during this time over 14 million people crossed borders. An estimated one million people were killed during this migration .
The story concludes on a positive note. The family escapes intact and begins life in a new city. Nisha discovers that she possesses the courage to trust others, a willingness to make a new friend, and the strength to recover and share her voice.
Food and Phrases
"He taught me how to fold the dough over the filling and dab the edges with water before pressing the corners together. Each samosa felt like a small animal, soft and warm in my hand."
"...I've decided I'm going to write in it every day if I can. I want to explain things to you as if I'm writing a storybook, like The Jungle Book except without all the animals. I want to make it real so you can imagine it."
"Sometimes the world as you know it just decides to become something else."
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind," Papa said.