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The Tree with a Thousand Apples

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  420 ratings  ·  255 reviews
If the criminal was once a saint and the saint was once a criminal, then who is a criminal and who is a saint?

Inspired by true events, this riveting narrative traces the lives of Safeena Malik, Deewan Bhat and Bilal Ahanagar, three childhood friends who grow up in an atmosphere of peace and amity in Srinagar, Kashmir, until the night of 20 January 1990 changes it all.

Hardcover, 284 pages
Published December 2016 by Niyogi Books
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Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“He puts his arms around his shoulders and walks him out. The apple tree in the back yards looks down at them, stoic and expressionless, like a mute spectator who has a million words to say, yet would prefer to remain silent, always.”

During this period, when you are flooded with books, having themes of love stories, romance, mythological fantasies, and feminism in the literary arena of India, the book like this one can provide you with some freshness and peculiar experience of a new sort.

I am
Vishnu Chevli
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"If a criminal was once a saint & a saint was once a criminal, then who is the criminal & who is the saint?" - a wonderful line from a wonderful book. I am glad I got chance to read 'The Tree with a Thousand Apples" by Sanchit Gupta.

It is a story of Deewan, Bilal, and Safeena. A Kashmiri pandit family of Deewan has to leave J&K within a day. It is like you get only 20 minutes to pack things which you have gathered or nurtured for life. Bilal, a Kashmiri Muslims, who turned into terrorist due to
Archit Ojha
Deeply Riveting!

It won't be an exaggeration if I say this is the best book on Kashmir that I've read.

Reading about the people of Kashmir, what chaos they go through and how haunting it can become was an eye-opener. Books like The Tree With a Thousand Apples should turn into movies.

The novel unfolds itself with three young children, Deewan, Bilal and Safeena. Even being from different religions, their friendship knows no bounds. Between the turmoils of politics and insurgencies, where does the
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owns, arc
Has a heart of its own.

And that heart flutters, sometimes skips a beat or two, but reverts back to doing what it does the best - to fill with love and not blood.

Set apart in a league of its own, the story opens up with the life of three young children in the valley. The bonds of friendship and the sands of time alter like tides in a sea.

One thing remains constant - The tree that bears a thousand apples.

It sees riots, murders, bloodshed. It stands it all. The tears water its roots.

I will not delv
Surabhi Sharma
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
‘The tree with a Thousand Apples’, a hypnotic and enthralling tale is a story of three childhood friends Bilal Ahanager, Safeena Malik and Deewan Bhat. Inspired by true events this story comes from the turbulent place they called paradise, Kashmir, Srinagar becomes a battlefield and they are forced to choose a side.

In the backdrop of the books is the valley of Kashmir, this book is a work of fiction but I can say there is a truth hidden behind the veil of fiction after reading many non-fictional
Aishwary Mehta (The_Fugitive_Biker)
31st Book of 2018

5 Stars

'A few white petals of Jasmine have found their way out amidst the bushes. Their narrow stems and delicate leaves grapple against the sputtering raindrops. The old gardener must have had an illicit affair with the flowers; their love refuses to die.' (Page 126)

My Review - 'The Tree with a Thousand Apples' is a story penned across the life of Safeena Malik, Bilal Ahanagar and Deewan Bhatt living in Kashmir Valley, The Paradise on Land, portraying their growi
Mridula Gupta
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
“The moon and the stars sigh. The days elude them, but they are the ones who witness the sorrows of the night. How they wish they could resolve the unbound grief of the human heart. If only, they could know what it was looking for. If only, unbound joy could be the answer.”

The Tree with a Thousand Apples is based on the events that led to the killing and departure of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990, from their homeland Kashmir.

Dewaan, Bilal, and Safeena, three friends, who would do anything for eac
Sheetal Maurya - Godse (Halo of Books)
Full book review is up on the blog here The tree with a thousand apples by Sanchit Gupta | Halo of books

There are many books which represent the misery of Kashmir. Among these I have read two non-fiction books Our Moon Has Blood Clots: The Exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits and Curfewed Night both books are excellently written. So when I read the blurb of this book I was quite amazed thinking that how will the author put the misery of Kashmir, that to holding it in a story. But to my surprise, this
Padmaja (thebookishtales)
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book is set in Kashmir before and after the 1990 insurgency and the exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits. It is the story of three childhood friends, Bilal Ahanagar, Safeena Malik and Deewan Bhat. It is a beautiful story about love, friendship, revenge and atonement. I love how the Author has weaved these elements in the story. 
It perfectly depicts the struggles of the common Kashmiri people, the confused loyalties between the good and bad. The friendship between the three characters is beautiful.
Nayan Patel
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are certain books which make you want to read them again and again just for the fun of it and then there are certain books which may completely change the way you look at the reality around you. This one falls in the latter category.

While I had a broad idea of what the book was about when I picked it up, I never thought too much about the amount of ignorance that Indians (including me) are steeped in. The story revolves around three protagonists Safeena Malik, Bilal Ahanagar and Deewan Bha
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: indian-fiction
This book is not for everybody. It’s the story of three people who spend most of their childhood growing up in Kashmir. As children they develop strong bonds and promise to always stick out for each other. But one night, due to circumstances brought about by the political insurgency, the children’s lives will never be the same again. Driven apart by fate, Safeena, Dewan, and Bilal must try and stick together through the grim times that lie ahead.

This book puts you in a moral dilemma. The charac
Kaushal Gupta
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Please visit to read the complete review of the book.

If you ever decide to create a word cloud of the answers that you receive for the question, "Where is heaven on earth?", out of the many answers that you will get, Kashmir would definitely be a big bold word in it. Why do people call Kashmir a heaven? What makes them still say that? We all know that it is mainly because of the beautiful landscapes that it has to offer, the snow clad mountain views and t
Ashima Jain
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Noted Historian and Travel Writer, Jan, Morris said of Kashmir: Kashmir has always been more than a mere place. It has the quality of an experience, or a state of mind, or perhaps an ideal.

It is no wonder then, that the author, Sanchit Gupta, dedicates this book ‘To the people of Kashmir—
those who live there,
those who used to live there,
and those who will continue to live there…’

Sanchit Gupta brings a story capturing the beauty of the valley and paints it with the poignancy of the rich, deep-r
Abhisikta Basu
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books

This is a MUST READ book, and I would recommend it to everyone. I won't be surprised at all if, this book is made into a movie, and I can even picture Alia Bhatt in the lead role of Safeena Malik!

The tree with a thousand apples is one of the best books I've read this year. The author has penned down a beautiful fictional story which is also based on true events. All the characters has its own depth and has been brilliantly sketched by the author.

I lov
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book has powerful and moving fictional story that showcases the harsh reality of three friends staying in Kashmir. Some parts states that it is based on real life incidents which makes the reading experience even more intriguing. Terrorism, politics, status of Kashmiri Pundits and Kasmiri Muslims are concurrent themes of this book. It paints a picture of struggles of life in one of the most sensitive and tensed state of India.
Suraj Kumar
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
‘The Tree with a Thousand Apples’ is a heart touching tale of 3 childhood friends living in the beautiful & terrifying valley of Kashmir. It is an account of 3 innocent lives, who suffer at the hands of destiny & end up becoming ‘collateral damage’.

*A Tale of Thousand Shattered Dreams

The novel revolves around the the lives of 3 freinds- Deewan Bhat, Safeena Malik and Bilal Ahanagar. It is set in the land of Kashmir, where insurgencies (rebellion against government) are a common phenomenon. Deewa
Reethu Ravi
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Safeena Malik, Deewan Bhat and Bilal Ahanagar are childhood friends that grew up in the strikingly beautiful and peaceful Srinagar, Kashmir. Playing cricket, blowing out rats, defending and applauding each other, their lives are progressing like that of any other eleven-year-olds, when the night of 20 January 1990 shatters their lives in its entirety.

The insurgency of war trodden Kashmir drives Deewan from his home, the land he grew up in; Safeena loses her mother and Bilal is left with ard
Anuradha Gupta
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Tree with a Thousand Apples by Sanchit Gupta is a fictional take on the insurgency in Kashmir during the 90s, against the Kashmiri Pundits and the citizens’ fight for Azadi that followed, and is still continuing. There is not one but three protagonists of the story, Deewan Bhat, Safeena Malik and Bilal Ahanagar, whose story we follow, from their childhood days through their adolescence and finally adulthood.

Deewan, Safeena and Bilal are best of friends, living in the land they call jannat, t
Vandana Choudhary
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The tree with a Thousand Apples is a story about three childhood friends Deewan Bhat, Safeena Malik and Bilal Ahanagar who lives in Kashmir, Paradise on Earth. Safeena's father Rehman Malik and Deewan's father Praveen Bhat are neighnours and shares a friendly bond irrespective of their different religion. Deewan, Safeena and Bilal are innocent kids who plays together, study together and their eyes are filled with many dreams. The story tells us how the lives of these three innocent school going ...more
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
War torn books always take a little piece of my heart and this one is no exception. Based on true events in Kashmir, the plot follows three friends, and how their lives are affected and devastated by the unrest in their country. Reminiscent of Khaled Hosseini's "A Thousand Splendid Suns" (yes, it is that good) the story and characters alike captured my heart and I was thinking of them days after the book was over. It made me think about the villains and the 'good' people in war time and how hard ...more
Omkar (BookmanOmkar)
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
#Qotd: what is the speciality of your city?

Inspired from true events, "A Tree with thousand apples" by Sanchit Gupta is a heartbreaking and riveting story of three friends Deewan, Bilal and Safeena who used live peacefully in Shrinagar until the peace of their life was snatched by the catastrophic night of 20th January 1990 and three friends fell apart from each other.

This journey of 3 friends took 3 different turns. Each one suffers losses which we can't even imagine. These situations make th
Solitude and  books
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book looks in itself so good ! I was all over its beautiful cover for a long time. Recently got the chance to read it.
A hardcover it is penned down by Author Sanchit Gupta and published by Niyogi Publishers. Story is based on 3 friends Safeena , Deewan , Bilal , in 1990 in Jammu & Kashmir , a thriller that talks about the life of people based in Jammu & Kashmir who though live in the heaven of India , that has the most beautiful scenic beauty in the country but inside there larks the poison
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of three childhood friends, Bilal, Safeena and Deewan. They belong to the beautiful Kashmir and the three of them supported each other like a family. Unfortunately, destiny had some other plans for them. They get separated from each other during one of the riots that happened in their hometown and their lived turns upside down. After years, three of them happens to meet each other and nothing remains the same anymore.

The tree with a thousand apples is a kind of story that will
Anukriti Malik
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-i-own, 2018
"... Likhne waale ne likh daale milan ke saath vichore , assa hun tur jaana hai din reh gaye those."

The Tree With A Thousand Apples is a heartbreaking story penned around the lives of Safeena Malik, Deewan Bhat and Bilal Ahanagar, who grew up in a peaceful atmosphere of Srinagar until the night of 20 January 1990.

On 20 January , 1990 Kashmir witnesses merciless killings. Safeena's family gives shelter to Deewan's family since he is a Kashmiri Pandit and is at stake of being slaughtered. A musl
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Trigger Warning: Violence, Rape

"Oh, you foolish children! Curfew is never over. That is a thing about curfew in this town. It doesn't matter what the loudspeaker says, the curfew is never over. This town is a prison, a prison with lakes and flowers."

I remember asking my parents as a child why we never go to Kashmir for a holiday and they used to answer," waha ka mauhal sahi nahi hai abhi, jald hi theek hoga toh jayenge." It is not safe to visit Kashmir right now, as soon as it is safe we will d
Tanvi Morwani
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: home-shelf
For someone who does not have much experience of reading books based in Kashmir, I could still make out one thing which I'm sure many other books based in similar backgrounds lack: the unbiased views.

This writer doesn't pick a side. He has narrated a story as it is, without categorising characters as villains or heros, good or bad. He has narrated this heartbreaking story and has left the reader to decide their opinions.

The writing about the terrible torture gave me goosebumps. The story is real
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indian-author
My first read on Kashmir and could not have been better. I was engrossed and was under the book's effect for the span of days I read it. Melancholy, grief, beauty and friendship. From the sunny peaks to the zero watt bulb, the descriptions are so clean and the visuals could stay with the reader for a long time.
Author's imagination gave me goose bumps a couple of times. Instance, "It rains ferociously that night, like a mother weeping over her dead son's body". Dark foreboding.

Highly recommended.
Saumyata Bisht
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sanchit Gupta as an Indian author is the most refreshing one I have read so far.
KITE RUNNER OF INDIA. That's the best way I can describe this book.
The kashmiriyat is so beautifully woven into the book that you will carry it with you after the book is finished.
I liked the way the characters are designed and how tiny nuances are given the most beautiful form.
Especially how the character of Safeena is described.
The book is the best description of Kashmir that I have ever come across.
As for the writ
Aryan Sarath
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing

A brilliant story created from true events. The story essentially revolves around three friends Bilal, Safeena and Deewan.

I was feeling that the book was not interesting at least in the very first chapter but trust me after completing that and once I started reading from chapter 2, I could not stop it till the end as it unfolded the life and miseries of Kashmir Muslims. Just because they were born there and as a Muslim, the endless tortures they had to go through has been very beautifully captur
Manika Shekhar
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A brilliantly written novel that weaves you into the world of Kashmir so beautifully that you feel your heart pounding in your ears on almost every page. The story revolves around the life of three characters Safeena, Bilal and Deewan, and how an unfortunate incident determined the course of their lives. Each character is so intricately woven that you end up identifying with all three in respect to vicissitudes of human existence.

Political and Religious differences cause an upheaval in the city
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Born and brought up in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, Sanchit began his career as a part-time copywriter. He went on to co-found his own theatre group, worked as a freelance film screenwriter and as executive producer–fiction for a leading television network. His short stories have been published in several publications and lit festivals, viz Muse India, Indian Ruminations, Contemporary Literary R ...more

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