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The Last Wave

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Ever the aimless drifter, Harish finds the anchor his life needs in a chance encounter with members of the ancient and threatened - Jarawa community-the 'original people' of the Andaman Islands and its tropical rain forests. As he observes the slow but sure destruction of everything the Jarawa require for their survival, Harish is moved by a need to understand, to do ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published May 26th 2014 by HarperCollins (first published May 12th 2014)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  91 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Warm quilts of grey, throbbing lancelet of sea, quaint demure moon, nesting tortoise - what is there in all these things that can stop us from falling in love? Maybe nothing can. Or maybe, our greed can always act as a perfect ignitor.

The Last Wave by Pankaj Sekhsaria is probably going to win my Best Book of 2019 award. I can't be sure right now, there is still time for it, but somehow, I know it in my heart that it is THE ONE for me. It resonates perfectly well with my love for nature - my love
Himani Gupta
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
The main protagonists of the book are not really the characters around whom the narration is structured - viz Harish the aimless drifter turned researcher or Seema the "local born" anthropologist who lived outside the Andamans for many years only to return to study her own family's origins. The main protagonists are the tropical rain forests that cover the bulk of the South Andaman island and form the natural habitat of the Jarawa tribal population. Seema and Harish accompany David, a senior ...more
Roshan Singh
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"The last wave" is set in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. I picked it up for the sole reason that its setting was something which had fascinated me for long but about which I knew next to nothing. For me, Andaman and Nicobar Islands were a secluded part of India with a small population and preserved natural forests and wildlife. Recently the islands were in national and international news when the Sentinelese (a native tribe) killed an American preacher. The native tribes of these islands have ...more
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is an important story. This is a story that needs to be heard. And for that alone it deserves 4 stars.

Pankaj disguises his historical account of the Jarawas in a readable 300 page book. The tale revolves around few characters but the real story is about the slow destruction of the Jarawa tribe in the Andamans. It packs in a lot of history and factual information on how the Jarawas are being marginalised. It also speaks about the lackadaisical style of governance in a slumbering island.

Anup Das
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Few years ago Pankaj Sekhsaria and Vishvajit Pandya edited and published a report titled "The Jarawa Tribal Reserve Dossier: Cultural & Biological Diversities in the Andaman Islands", which was prepared for UNESCO by Kalpavriksha in 2010. Pankaj came back with stories of Jarawa tribal community in this recent novel "The Last Wave: An Island Novel", the subject he studied extensively during preparation of the post-tsunami dossier. The narratives in this fiction cover a diverse range of issues ...more
Vinay Leo
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Review @ A Bookworm's Musing:

The Last Wave is a fiction that has a lot of facts, well researched and brought out. It paints a picture of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, which I’ve visited before only through the story told by a friend. But I feel the fiction was just the outline for the book, the substance and the intent was to showcase the Islands, its community and tribes, the struggles they faced and continue to face etc. And it worked. Though the tale of Harish and
Ritu Mantri
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I haven’t read a more intriguing book where facts are presented so beautifully in the fictional outline. My knowledge about the island is limited to the fact that it is one of the seven union territories of India and a popular tourist spot to visit and divine for scuba divers.

Thanks to my ignorance I was completely unaware about the crucial burning issues related to the island. The book enlighten me about the dwindling number of crocodile from the marine ecology due to illegal hunting and
Jayashree R
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who cares for other people and creatures
First of all, thanks a whole bunch Pankaj, for gifting this book through goodreads, for ao read.....

The second book on goodreads(first one was the War Kids by HJ Lawson) that sent me spiral, thinking....emotional, with loss of words hatred towards the indifferent human nature and selfishness.... A salute to you for bringing this book out...

The book so beautifully yet sensitively brings out the greatness of the islands, the islanders, the migrants, the prisoners, the local borns... touching so
Outi Rajaniemi
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this book while traveling in the Andaman Islands. Such a fascinating story and a good introduction to the history and culture of the islands.
Athul Domichen
Dec 22, 2015 rated it liked it
'The Last Wave' is a novel set in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, one of those places we 'Indians' don't often remember is part of India, others being Lakshadeep and the North East. The novel introduced me to the ways of island living, their issues with influx of people from mainland, tribes of the islands, ecology, the notions of development and progress and many more. Even though the book has a slow start and love story element is just a carrier for the other issues which are said, this is a ...more
Roopesh Kohad
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
It was a chance occurrence that I walked into a photo exhibition by the author himself in Pune where he was himself present. Just fresh from a 10 day trip to Andaman Islands I was happy to see an exhibition of photos and a book about the Islands. There was hardly anything apart from boring factual books which were available in Andaman itself. I read it over a week and could relate to lot of places, incidents, scenery mentioned in the book. Though anyone can read the book but would suggest ...more
Nanda Ramesh
Jul 05, 2015 rated it liked it
A slow paced book which takes us through the history of Andaman Islands through the eyes of Harish who comes there to consult for a Magazine's stories. It weaves some real historical incidents for Jarawa tribe (as per wiki) into this fictional story. A personal story is told in parallel of Harish and Seema an anthropologist who has also come there for research.
After meandering through all the facts and stories for many chapters it ends in a sudden explosion and quite abruptly.

Reading this I
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel, true-stories
Lovely account of an on-the-ground perspective of the Jarawa tribe and local life on Andaman and Nicobar Islands. As an Anthropology graduate, Ioved this novel. I only realised how attached I had grown to the characters by the end...
Aditi Bose
Oct 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Amongst the very few Indian authors that I have read in recent times. And a genre that I don't usually read. But I loved his descriptions of the Andamans. It leaves you thinking and hoping.

read my full review here.
Shrabanee Khatai
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I actually had this copy in an international conference signed by the author himself. It's good to read a book which actually is a non-fiction but woven compactly into a fiction. Similar is this. The life of Jarawas and their increasing extinction is the main theme of the book. While that does sound promising, the only problem is it'd have been a great read if it'd have been written as non-fiction only because the fictional account after some page goes out of coherence and synchrony. Not a great ...more
Feb 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Harish has always been an aimless drifter, but he finds the anchor to his life when he sees the slow but sure destruction of everything that the Jarawa need to survive, he is moved by the need to do something. Along with him come Uncle Pame, a seventy-year-old Karen boatman, and Seema a "local born" a descendant of the convicts who were lodged in the jail of Port Blair. Seema has been to the mainland to study, but unlike the rest of her educated counterparts she has decided to come back to the ...more
Mallee Stanley
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
India's Andaman Islands was a fascinating setting for a novel. However, more than half of this book read more like a non-fiction than a fiction and even though the fate of the Jarawa people was an important part of the story, the novel didn't devote enough room for the main character, Harish, to develop plausibly.
Manish Kumar
rated it it was ok
Jan 17, 2017
rated it really liked it
Aug 23, 2014
Sayantani Majumdar
rated it did not like it
Jul 21, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Oct 16, 2016
Chandanathil Geevan
rated it it was amazing
Mar 26, 2015
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Feb 26, 2016
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Jul 31, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Feb 22, 2017
Rahul Khokale
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May 14, 2017
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Sep 07, 2014
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Nov 20, 2018
Saurabh Singh
rated it liked it
Nov 27, 2018
rated it it was ok
Apr 12, 2017
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The Last Wave - in the Andamans 1 1 Mar 28, 2015 08:31AM  

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Pankaj Sekhsaria is Associate Professor, Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA), IIT Bombay. His most recent book is 'Instrumental Lives - an intimate biography of an Indian laboratory (Routledge 2019). The India edition is being released in November 2019.

He has a long-standing association with the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI) as a member of the environmental action group,
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