Blood on the Snow

Ka has also been drawn to Kars by Ipek, an old universities love, who he comes to learn has divorced her husband.  The novel follows Ka through Kars, his involvement with Ipek, his meeting with the Islamist and secular party candidates for the upcoming elections, Blue, the Islamist terrorist, Sardar Bey, the newspaper editor under control of whosoever is in power, and all the other players of day to day life in the city of Kars. Ka strikes a deep friendship with a young boy Necip who is an Islamic seminary student. Kars and his pursuit of love inspire Ka and poems start flowing through him.  
Then the novel takes a turn. The snow fall blocks all the roads of the city. A secularist troupe headed by an actor of past fame ‘Sunay Zain’ takes advantage of the isolation and with the help of a military Colonel takes over the city in a coup which starts in the city theatre where Ka has just rendered a public speaking of his latest poem ‘Snow’.  Soon a crackdown on the Islamist fundamentalists takes place and the Islamic schools and institutions face a clear up operation in which a number of students are rounded up and a number of others including Necip lose their lives. In all the mayhem however love blooms between Ipek and Ka, and slowly they are drawn closer to each other. They decide to leave Kars for Frankfurt as soon as possibility arises.
The author satires Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, through the theatrical ‘Sunay Zain’ and the novel takes the form of a dark comedic political satire. His boasting of the West is in stark contrast to the highly anti-western ‘Blue’ who holds the West responsible for every ill in Turkey. The western-anti western divide soon delves into religion and people with the slightest western leanings are considered atheists. This is portrayed by the continuous struggle of Ka—the secularist lobby believes him an Islamist and the Islamist lobby considers him an atheist. Soon ka is put to a dilemma of his existence.
Blue is captured and for his release Sunay Zain puts a difficult preposition in front of Ka. To motivate Kadife who is the face of resistance to the headscarf ban in the city , lover of ‘blue’ and sister of Ipek  to publicly throw away the headscarf in Sunay’s next performance at the theatre. To secure his own interest of marrying Ipek and returning to Europe Ka motivates Kadife to accept. Blue is released but soon decides against letting Kadife perform and contacts Ka to relay the message.
Ka is shaken to the core when he is kidnapped by a Special Operations group and it is revealed to him that ‘blue’ and Ipek have been ex-lovers who are still on-off in love. Evidence of the phone call breaks Ka who now heads to Ipek for a confrontation. He reveals the hiding place of blue to the special ops group.
As the new staged show with a forced audience reaches its interval Kadife comes to know of the killing of ‘blue’ in an encounter. The show progresses on and reaches the climax where Kadife is to stage the killing of Sunay Zain. The act turns real when Kadife fires at Sunay and Sunay falls to the ground but does not rise up again. Someone had filled the pistol with real bullets.
Ka is packed off to Istanbul sans Ipek from where he heads to Frankfurt to live a life of exile and loneliness again. This time he takes back denial, betrayal, and guilt along. The snow melts and the central government takes control of the city again. Trials and investigations start and everything approaches normal as the snow disappears.
Ka during his stay in Kars has written poems about all the emotions he came to see and his poems catch the sentiment of not just Kars, but understanding of Kars through turkey. In all he has written eighteen poems which eight years later after more insight and improvement are ready to be published in from a book titled ‘snow’.  By now snow is everything for ka who has sought the meaning of life on the six axis of the snow crystal.  Hope, despair, betrayal, loneliness and god manifest on snow.
Ka is killed in a shooting on a Frankfurt street and the killer flees with the only record of the poem.  All the poems are lost.
Snow chronicles day to day life of Kars for a brief period of time and addresses love, faith, identity, betrayal, solitude, politics, and life of the oppressed, clash of civilizations. Snow tries to catch Turkey through the eyes of a Kurd , as if someone would try to profile India through the eyes of a kashmiri.
 Kars and snow remind me again and again of Kashmir. It makes the point that a Kurd is a Kurd in turkey. A Kashmiri is a Kashmiri in India.  Both Kurd and Kashmiri know that snow falls, it blankets, melts and disappears. A Kashmiri and a Kurd know that snow is white, but both of them also know that snow can be red. The colour of their own blood.


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