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Calling Sehmat

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  3,703 ratings  ·  371 reviews
Calling Sehmat is a thrilling saga of a spy who, in the service of our nation, gave all of herself and that of her family so that we may live in peace. It is a story of a Kashmiri woman who married a Pakistani Army Officer so as to provide the Indian intelligence with invaluable information during the Indo-Pak War of 1971. Sehmat devised unique ways in her quest to get clo ...more
Unknown Binding, 244 pages
Published April 4th 2008 by Konark Publishers
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  3,703 ratings  ·  371 reviews

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Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Being a defence kid, I grew up listening to all those stories of patriots who fought for our country. I was really looking forward to reading Calling Sehmat before watching the movie (Raaji is based upon this novel), but I feel cheated after reading this one. It felt like I was reading a summary of a beautiful novel.

Calling Sehmat is about a girl who marries a Pakistani Captain to spy for our country. It's a great plot and has so much potential to turn into a great novel. But unfortunately, it w
Vikas Singh
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-book
A rare book that is based on true spy who played an active role during the period leading to the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war. A panic driven bureaucracy, under the guise of national security, has ensured that the true stories of these heroes never comes out in the light. The fact that the author was a serving officer in Navy helped bring out this story. A true story it brings alive the trials, tribulations, bravery of the girl who even got married to son of second in command of dreaded ISI to serve h ...more
Aug 29, 2018 marked it as the-nope-wagon
Read the preview. Lost interest.
Gaurav Prabhu
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A friend gave me this for a read. For her, it is a priced possession, not given to anyone before. She commented, that I would love this. I felt privileged.

The book is a fine piece of writing I have read since a while. The story touches one's heart. A perfect infusion of sentiments in a gripping plot. Bet you haven't read a similar one prior. The details are fascinating and they make the reader feel every passage in the book as if he is into the world. This is effortlessly achieved by the author
Apratim Mukherjee
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a fictionalized true story.Though the book is not even close to be considered as a classic spy thriller,the writing is decent.Other than the chapters describing navy battles,the language is simple and story is fast paced.The author has researched his subject thoroughly which is evident from the minutest details he brings into life.The description of navy battles and military jargon are the only weak points.Its a tribute to an unsung war hero.Just the movie Raazi,I award four stars t ...more
Shatarupa  Dhar
In the city of Malerkotla, in the north Indian state of Punjab, a mother places a call to her grandson to inform him that his mother has passed away. Samar Khan, promoted to the rank of Captain (in the Indian Army), was excited to present himself in front of his mother in his new uniform. Alas, that moment never came. Seeking permission from his Commanding Officer for emergency leave, he then proceeds from Delhi (where he was on short duty) to Malerkotla. While breaking the news abo
Ankit Saxena
This is the Book that can discover the hidden patriotism inside You..

All the time when I was holding this book, was the best Time I had in last few days. I couldn't stop my urge of reading it from the time I received the book, afresh & instantly.

There is one thing I liked the most about this book is, its not just the Book, its the world that I entered into. Its pages will let you fly without any effort. That's the magic it creates. Its not just about Sehmat(not the real name though f
I read this book in one sitting, and I am not disappointed! What a wonderful book and what an absolute page-turner! You seldom come across such books which keep you hooked until the last page! I can't believe that the story based on a woman who ACTUALLY risked it all to serve her country, her 'watan'. This boks fills me with pride, it brought out the patriot in me and I am so glad I read the book before I saw the movie based on this book. Kudos to Harinder Sikka for bringing out the tale of this ...more
Rishav Agarwal
Aug 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
Harinder Sikka has watched a lot of Bollywood movies, he loves the over the top patriotism, and Tiranga is probably his favourite movie. He came to know of Shemat's story and thought it to be the prefect plot for a classic tricolour flick, he writes with such Bollywood panache that the 273 page novel even has a dance number. Please understand that I do not wish to undermine the sacrifice and courage of Sehmat Khan but this novel is less of her account than a script for Karan Johar film waiting t ...more
Shivani Sharma
Good story, mediocre writing. Several themes are explored in this book, but the transition between them is too abrupt ("unsmooth"?) for my liking. Also, there are many parts which could've been written with more depth, giving more dimension to the story as well as the characters. The story was pretty good, nevertheless (albeit being written in a very cut-short manner). ...more
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The heavier tends to settle down and influence from within with no hope of appreciation or rewards.clinging to a cause sacrificing the prime of the life is laudable
Rashi Malik
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indian

Could the writing have been better? Yes.
Does it really matter? No

"Respect the uniform, and your soul will respect you"

The book is about the 1971 Indo-Pak war. It's about the Indian Navy's win. It is about how Sehmat Khan's intelligence gathering in Pakistan proved invaluable to India. It is about how she sacrificed everything, suffered insufferably yet did what needed to be done. Most important of all it is about respecting the Watan above everything.

The minor flaws of the book pale i
Manasa Manjunath
Oct 23, 2020 rated it did not like it
Having watched the movie based on the book I was really looking forward to reading it but I was very disappointed. Sehmat Khan’s story is the stuff of legends - A Kashmiri girl who opts to become a spy for the Indian intelligence by marrying into a Pakistani army family. But the story has been manhandled by the author.

The book starts off on a very anti-Hindu note. Painting both Kashmiri Pandits & Hindu Brahmins in a bad light. Half the book is spent on a detailed backstory of how Sehmat’s paren
May 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019reads
I was planning to be generous with 3 stars but that wouldn't do justice to the other better written books with same rating.
Plot and characters deserved better narration.

I definitely didn't care for the last few chapters on the naval attacks. Though I am definitely watching the movie again!
Some of you have never met Vicky Kaushal as Iqbal Syed and it shows. RTC.
Prakash Hegade
Feb 06, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read. Inspiring. Definitely a to-be-read book.

Writing could have been better. Watched the movie (Raazi), again, halfway through the book.
Nidhi Srivastava
God yes i want to read this
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Extraordinary story of an Indian spy, writing style is not up to the mark. Still would say, all Indians should read this true account of a heroic Indian. Alia Bhatt starrer Raazi movie is based on this book.
Stuti Prasad
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most beautiful way to share this legend.

The most beautiful book i have read after years. So emotional with intense emotions. It had love, sacrifice, lovr for nation, determination towards your nation and selfless love for our nation. Sehmat Khan was truely the most beautiful women in this whole world. Thank you Harinder Sikka for introducing her to us .
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: movieseries
I loved the storyline and plot twists. Really a good book. Go for it, even if you've seen Raazi. ...more
Rohit Sharma
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Majority of times when we watch a movie based on a book (especially these days) they usually fall in between underwhelming to lousy :). Now that I have read the book and loved it as it gave me an in-depth idea on the character of Sehmat Khan as well as how and why she did what she did, I can very well say that the movie is Fantastically made and almost at par with the book if not better. I wanted to read the book before the movie came but the time was so short between the trailer, release and bo ...more
Ritika Chhabra
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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I'll be honest here. I only heard about this book when I went to watch Raazi - the Bollywood make of this book. I had loved Raazi. The story of Sehmat Khan made me cry. The hardships she had to face in order to save her nation were well, hard. All that she did for the country was impeccable.

So naturally, I was excited about this one as well. I wanted to know what the book held. Soon after buying it, I read this book and well... i was deeply disap
Sanya Goel
May 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
I had read this book when I was not acquainted with the technicalities about the Indian Intelligence Bureau or the defence for that matter. The book had me intrigued due to the unconventional thriller story and the Character- Sehmat. She is not your ordinary girl. She becomes a spy in Pakistan with her courage, writ and perseverance. The story is extremely gripping and keeps you on your toes.
You’ll be surprised to learn that the author wrote the book after listening to the ordeal of the real lif
Srikkanth G
This one should have been divided into 4 parts - Romance, Suspense, Action and Philosophy. The romance part (first 15% of book) is pathetic, earning - 1/5. The suspense (50% of the book) is wonderful, earning - 4/5. Action (20%) is interesting as it's historical with information that I haven't read before - 4/5. Philosophy(5%) is where I observed most 'highlighted' areas in Kindle. It means that lot of people did like them, but I didn't - 2/5.

One request I have to the author is to avoid experim
T. Sathish
May 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was hoping to read a dramatized version of a real life spy thriller..but this book turned out to be a boring narration of events..I have not watched the movie, Raazi, either. I hope atleast the cinematic version was more gripping and action oriented..last 50 pages of the book is not even about Sehmat's spy operations..the author has covered 1971 war portions to fill pages..last two chapters turn into a philosophical dissertation. ...more
Dr Devraj Wodeyar
The setting seems almost unreal. Harinder Sikka’s debut novel, Calling Sehmat, tells the true tale of an Indian spy who was solely responsible for saving the country from losing the 1971 Indo-Pak naval war.

The book is no history lesson; we all know how it ends since it’s a real story but it still manages to keep you engaged while you’re on the edge of your seat. Note: It was published a while ago, and is being republished by Penguin Random House since it has served as the plot for the Alia Bhatt
Mayuri Nidigallu
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
The Plot:
A young girl is plucked out of college and asked to take over the mantle from her terminally ill father. That is when she realises that her affable father who ran a flourishing business was also a spy for his country, India.

His rapidly declining health leaves no time for another trusted person to take his place and the only person he can confidently recommend is his only child, Sehmat.

Since it is a crucial time for the country, Sehmat agrees to her dying father’s wishes. In a short spa
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A masterpiece

When I heard about rave reviews of the movie Raazi, I wanted to watch the movie. I also read in media about the book on which this movie is based "Calling Sehmat", I knew I had to read the book. As told earlier I enjoy reading more than watching movie and prefer reading before watching as the intrinsic details are missed in movies due to time constraints. This time however I saw the movie first which was simply mind blowing with superb depiction of events and brilliant performances.
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3+1/5: Liked it
1 star for the last few chapters. Overall it is a good read.
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Harinder Sikka is currently the group director, strategic business, Piramal Group. After graduating from Delhi University, he joined the Indian Navy. He was commissioned in January 1981 and took premature retirement in 1993 as a Lieutenant Commander. He lives in New Delhi with his family.

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