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Jasmine Days

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,221 ratings  ·  201 reviews
WINNER of the JCB PRIZE FOR LITERATURE 2018

Sameera Parvin moves to an unnamed Middle Eastern city to live with her father and her relatives. She thrives in her job as a radio jockey and at home she is the darling of the family. But her happy world starts to fall apart when revolution blooms in the country. As the people's agitation gathers strength, Sameera finds herself a
...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 264 pages
Published June 20th 2018 by Juggernaut Books (first published June 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,221 ratings  ·  201 reviews


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Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
One of the best written novels ever👍
This has easily become one of my fav reads of the year.
I will not forget the characters ever; the scenes, the dialogues, the riots and the protests, the killings and the misunderstanding that are still prevalent today regarding the Muslims.
This book has been narrated in such a simple yet powerful way that it was impossible for me to put it down until I reached the last page.
Finally, a book worth the hype and all👍
*Highlights:
👍Relatable scenes and situation
👍Well
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Ankit Garg
Apr 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Jasmine Days by Benyamin is a translated work of fiction. It was originally written in Malayalam. The story is set in an unnamed city in the Middle East, and covers the riots that take place under the garb of politics, nationalism, religious conflicts, and the Arab Spring revolution, and the physical and mental trauma that ensues.

The narrator is a minority Muslim immigrant woman from Pakistan. The plot covers her initial struggles in a country new to her, both in her personal life (friends and e
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Padmaja
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
Jasmine days is a beautiful hard hitting book which hits you at the right places. It's a very relevant book in today's times. Read on to know my thoughts about it.
🌼
Jasmine days is set in the background of the Arab Spring revolution and the story is told through Sameera, a Pakistani immigrant who works as a RJ in Orange Radio. Her daily life revolves around squabbles with the 'Malayalam mafia' and her extended family in Taya ghar. She narrates her story to a character named Javed, whose
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Meera Nair
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jasmine Days tells the story of Sameera as she gets accustomed to living in a Middle Eastern city with her father and relatives. This shift away from home and her new job as an RJ brings her closer to assimilating with people of different backgrounds. Her friendships take on new definition when the city gets torn apart by religious conflicts. In this contemporary fiction, the author draws up a raw and gritty picture of the effects of communal tension and violence.

This novel surpassed my expecta
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Vanya
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Revolution. How does a revolution come about? Who decides its time to upend the status quo? Does one ever feel ready for a revolution, for a change that would transform lives permanently? Is it easier to write about a revolution when you are situated at a comfortable distance from its epicentre or to read about it years later tucked away in the cocoon of vantage point?

The inaugural winner of the JCB literary prize, Jasmine Days, written by Benyamin and translated by Shahnaz Habib tackles some of
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Ashwini Abhyankar
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5
Gathering my thoughts for now but a brilliant read for sure.
Sandra
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a Malayali who has always claimed of detesting her malluness, I found myself cringing and even getting stung by the Frank depiction of Mallu apoliticalness, and the eagerness of mallus to otherise people and isolating them by speaking in Malayalam in the presence of a non-malayali. I gave the novel three stars for that sharp observation.

Sameera Parwin baffled me by her immense strength, and had me swear and cry towards the end of the book. You would think I gave my fourth star because of thi
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Sana Abdulla
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A bit less than four stars.
After my chance stumble on Benjamin's book Goat Days I was dying to read another book by him. Reading jasmine days seemed like it was written by someone else, possibly because it was a different translator.
There are good bits and bollywood bits, I was thankful for a very convincing and probably true scenes of an Arab spring revolution that turned into a secaterian feud. The maintenance of the regime and the revenge of the monarch were eye opening.
The main character wa
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Ankita Chauhan
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
There is so much to learn from this book, loved the prose style, metaphore, the way to express emotions, the unsaid words between the protagonist and her father. though i am not interested into politics but author did justice by writing those heart wrenching scenes with such brilliance, makes Jasmine Days a must read book.
MRIDULA
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Why should you read this:
-Fluid, conversational style narrative that doesn't make itself complicated at any point
-Diverse characters, multiple views
-A chance to form your own opinion after considering all sides
-A plot that gets intense with every chapter, makes you anticipate the worse and delivers exactly that.

Detailed review soon.
Swetha Mary ann
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read most of the shortlisted books for last year’s JCB prize, but I now know why they werent the winners. This book shook me. I was also listening to the malayalam audiobook as I read this translated book.
Told in first person narrative by Sameera, and occationally her addressing in second person to her childhood friend, Javed, the book explores her life after reaching a Gulf country(unnamed), from Pakistan and finding a job and staying with her father. Then the book delves into the topic the
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Sudeepta Pradhan (booksteaandmore)
review coming soon. this is but a must read
Gail (The Knight Reader)
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, indian-lit
I absolutely love books that teach me something I don't know. Jasmine Days taught me a lot.

Jasmine Days is the winner of the JCB Prize for Literature, 2018. It was my second read from their shortlist and I can see why it won the award.

Jasmine Days tells the story of Sameera, a young RJ who has moved to an unknown Middle Eastern country from Pakistan, to be with her father and extended family. Here, Sameera narrates her experiences during the Arab Spring of 2011 with much clarity and feeling. W
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Bhumika
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Benyamin's Jasmine days talks of revolution in terms of it's impact on nation as well the personal life of it's people. It deals with dilemma people face and conflicts with people around as well within themselves too.

The protagonist Sameera Parveen is our girl next door, with her aspirations, struggles, and forbidden dreams. Sameera moves to an unnamed gulf country, lives there with her extended family and father,and works as a radio jockey. Her relationship with her family is nothing out of wo
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Chittajit Mitra
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The story revolves around a Pakistani girl Sameera Parvin who comes to an unnamed Middle Eastern city to work & live with her father who has been working there for many years. She lived at her eldest uncle’s house with other relative who helped her father as well as other relatives get jobs & settle down. The uncle was a high ranking police official & got her father a job at the police only. He also got her a job as a radio jockey. Things were going smoothly in her life & she got quite good at h ...more
Surabhi Chatrapathy
Art is political as much as it is not. It is inherently more profound.
Jasmine Days brings to your lap the reality of a revolution. How a revolution gives you an identity and destroys the same over night. The language of this book is simple, but the story is over whelming. The language is only a tool, the essence of it is the characters. Ah so well craved out!
Sameera's innocence tugs at your heart.
Situated in an unnamed middle Eastern country, the book beautifully paints the history of the Ara
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Apurva Nagpal
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translated-books
The first winner of the JCB Prize for Literature Jasmine Days by Benyamin tells the story of a young RJ, Sameera who moves to an unnamed Middle Eastern city from Pakistan, staying with her father and extended family.
Set against the backdrop of The Arab Spring Revolution, the novel is much more in depth than it seems on the surface.

What looks like a heartfelt story of through a Muslim immigrant’s eyes, it paints a beautiful picture of her initial struggles, her friendships and little fights with
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Ajay
Jan 23, 2020 rated it did not like it
While the dilemma presented in the end is a suitably thorny one, the build up to it is a big let-down on all counts, from the uneven writing and trite expository passages to the underdeveloped characters who leave no lasting impression.
Anoop
Oct 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-collection
Benyamin has developed from a fiction writer to an 'write for thought' category..
reminded me of Anand's writing...
Moumita Roy
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
The story starts with Sameera,her root is in Pakistan but she's working in Orange radio in a city of Middle East. The city is unnamed, author addressed it as "The City ".

TBH, I liked the character Sammera from the beginning. The way she thinks and her process of depiction of events, which we normally try to see through the veil of sociality,touches me.

In the beginning, the story revolves around Sameera's life, her family and her office only. Did I mention that, it's written in form of daily Diar
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Nishant Bhagat
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lovely, Poignant!

The book was written originally written in Malyalam but has been beautifully transliterated in English by Shanaz Habib.

Set in a fictitious city in middle east, this story unfolds from the eyes of a young Pakistani girl. The political and religious history of middle-east adds to the complexity of the tale. As an Indian it did feel a little odd trying to see through the eyes of a pakistani protagonist, but the more I read, the more Sameera felt like one of our own. Similar wants
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Sahil Pradhan
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The story of Radio Jockey Sameera whose life changes when revolution strikes

Young Radio Jockey Sameera Parvin from Pakistan immigrates to an unnamed city in the Middle East where she tells the story of the Arab Spring of 2011 in Benyamin’s new novel. Sameera thrives in her job and is the darling of her family, but her happy world starts to fall apart when a revolution occurs in the country. As the people’s agitation gathers strength, she is forced to choose between family and friends, loyalty an
...more
Meghna Pant
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Powerful book that starts out simply and draws us into a complex world that we're all trying to grapple with. Don't miss reading this evocative book.
Divya
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
First off, thank you JCB Prize long list for putting this beautiful book as one of your nominations! I would have never read it (says a lot about my taste in literature, doesn't it?)had I not chanced upon this book on Juggernaut. Also, thank you Juggernaut for having this book on your app. That being said, here's a few things I did not know when starting Jasmine Days :
1. It was originally a book in Malayalam written by a Malayali author. This is important, because I am a Malayali and I never kne
...more
Anuradha Gupta
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After I finished high school, I went away to another city for my graduation. Though I never stayed in a hostel or a PG, I never felt myself belong to the house, which was my maternal grandparents’, or the place I was living in. In fact, the 4 years that I was there, I spent each day terribly missing my own home and my city even when I used to visit at least twice a year. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to leave behind an entire life and move to someplace else entirely and try to begin ...more
Smriti
What an important book to read! Simple and well put, it has stories that need to be read, need to be understood.

More coming up.
Jeshu Adhikam
Jul 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Jasmine Days - Thoughts, learnings and missed opportunities.

Set up in an unnamed city in middle east amidst it's ongoing revolution, Jasmine days is about a young Pakistani immigrant woman, Sameera Parveen who works as a RJ and how the revolution affects her life and people around her. A revolution demanding abdication of it's Sunni ruler's regime (over 40 years) by it's population comprised of majority, the Shia Muslims asking for a democracy. White flags; promoting peace met with tear gases, b
...more
Tamoghna Mukherjee
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jasmine Days is a very unique book, it carefully dissects the nature of revolution and the debate between democracy and autocracy. The author manages to objectively present the effects that different ideological beliefs have on our lives and how the individual is shaped and moulded by the society and the hatred it consists of.

Hatred is something that is passed on from generation to generation, it is a tremendous motivator and can drive one successfully towards his goals. However, hatred is vici
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Mansi
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So I just finished reading ‘Jasmine Days’ by Benyamin and was surprised to see that last year's JCB Prize Winner was actually a translation of an Arabic novel by Sameera Parvin originally titled 'A Spring without Fragrance'. I know people who have read the book would know this but those of you like me would be taken aback at the power of a good story. For this one moment, I actually took a step back and wanted to thank God for creating such deft translators. And then my surprise was corrected by ...more
Annette mathews
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has been doing the rounds ever since it was nominated for the JCB prize for literature and I was naturally curious to read this book.
We see an RJ returning back to work after a long break . She has met with some tragedy but the readers are not yet made aware of the situation in the beginning . This is how Jasmine Days starts
As the story progresses , the story changed its dynamics from the radio world to Politics and Religion . Sameera, the RJ is writing the events unfolding in the cit
...more
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Benyamin (born 1971, Benny Daniel) is an Indian novelist and short story writer in Malayalam language from Nhettur, Kulanada, Pattanamtitta district of the south Indian state of Kerala. He is residing in the Kingdom of Bahrain since 1992, from the age of twenty, and his works appear regularly on Malayalam publications in Kerala.

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