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Lakshmi, a rebellious, free-spirited and intelligent film-maker, breaks ties with her staunchly Gandhian father to marry Amir, the man she loves. She even agrees reluctantly to Amir’s request that she convert to Islam, as a formality, and change her name to Razia. However, she is shocked to discover that her husband is not the open-minded, progressive individual he claimed to be. For after marriage, Amir takes his family’s side in trying to force her to follow the more rigorous tenets of their faith. This sets her off on a personal journey into India’s history to uncover the many layers of religion, caste and creed. Her quest leads her to the many parallels in the narratives between the past and the present and she gradually finds that though much has changed in Indian society over the centuries, much remains the same. The second historical novel by celebrated Kannada author S.L. Bhyrappa, translated for the first time into English by Sandeep Balakrishna, Aavarana: The Veil raises pertinent and searching questions about religion, liberalism and identity, and highlights the importance of unshackling oneself from the bonds of false knowledge.
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