A murderous Nazi on the run now masquerading as a holy man, a crazy woman and her bewitched plants, a lonely and sad actress struggling to walk out of the ghastly shadows of her tormented past as a teenage girl, an artful master of misinformation dodging the officialdom with fake news, a mischievous Tibetan refugee girl and her pranks, depravity disguised as tantric sex, and buff envelopes stuffed with cash which make greedy officials run.

In this weird world, when a young woman starts on a journey to seek justice for the cold murder of her benefactor and the brutal rape of two destitute children she comes to a head with pure evil. The anguish of a child’s trauma penetrates deep into every human heart. But evil has no heart.

A touching tale of empathy and compassion of a woman as strong as the mountains surrounding her small, scenic hometown in the foothills of the Himalayas, in 1969 and earlier. When you put it down, you will feel you have been to a different world, a grim but real world that sadly still exists with a new cast of characters.

© Surendra Verma 2019-20


Just StARTED: the Story of Jasmina’s Justice CONTINUES after fifty years

First words

Someone knocking on my front door. Who could be out there so early in the morning? I peep through the opening in the window curtain. Nothing I can see in the murky mist. Peril lurking in the pea-soup fog? The indignant wind gods the Anemoi inhaling the savage smog out for revenge?

I hear one short and three long taps at my door. But I cannot see anyone out there. My mind goes back to an earlier era. Morse code for J and other letters of my name I had learned earnestly as a girl guide. It’s my first morning at my new house. Butterflies in my stomach, my eyes glued to the window. Slowly a silhouette appears, turns into a bluish blob as it walks towards the door.

‘Can I come in, Jasmina?’

Who could that be? No one here knows my name. My lips are buttoned up in fear, heart trembling. I draw my dressing gown together, my body armour. Look for a butter knife, my Excalibur sword.

‘I live in the block of flats down the street,’ the voice continues, sounds like the voice of a young boy. ‘Not as fancy as your new house, but still cosy.’

After drumming up a wee bit of courage, I open the door and let him in. ‘How could you knock at my door from so far away,’ regaining my composure, I wonder loudly.

‘Don’t be spooked by this action at a distance,’ he says as he walks in dim light towards the living room. ‘It’s a simple matter of bending Newton’s gravity.’

What a boy! Trying to impress an old woman as if I was his new girlfriend. Practising, perhaps. ‘Or a matter of bending the mind?’ I mutter thinking that fear makes the mind irrational. We humans may be the smartest beings on the planet, but our minds are inherently lazy; they subconsciously rely on shortcuts to make crazy conclusions such as turning random sounds into four orderly Morse code taps on my door.

‘I help neighbours with their computers,’ He continues ignoring my comment. ‘I thought you might need some help.’

‘So early in the morning?’

‘I was passing by when I saw the lights on upstairs. Some writers start working before dawn, waiting for golden-fresh rays of light to rev up their creative minds, I reckon.’

© Surendra Verma 2020