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Jasmine Days (PB)

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,680 ratings  ·  255 reviews
Sameera moves to an unnamed Middle Eastern city to live with her father and her relatives, when a revolution blooms. Set against the backdrop of the Arab Spring, this is the story of a young woman, whose happy world falls apart when the promise of revolution turns into destruction and division.
paperback, 296 pages
Published November 25th 2019 by Juggernaut (first published June 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,680 ratings  ·  255 reviews


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Reading_ Tamishly
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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Garg Ankit
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
...more
Padmaja (thebookishtales)
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
...more
Meera Nair
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Ashwini Abhyankar
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5
Gathering my thoughts for now but a brilliant read for sure.
Sandra
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Mridula Gupta
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
...more
Sana Abdulla
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
ivy♡
loved the way the author caught the emotions and paranoia of migrants caught amidst the turbulence of their adopted country
Swetha - a chronically perturbed mind
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
...more
Sudeepta Pradhan (booksteaandmore)
review coming soon. this is but a must read
Gail (The Knight Reader)
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
...more
Bhumika
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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
...more
Chittajit Mitra
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Anagha Gopal
Jul 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that becomes more heavy with each page. While it flows fast and is written in a conversational style and can be finished in a few hours, it is far from an easy read. From the first few pages itself, I began to admire Sameera's voice. She is at the same bold and curious, and doubtful and shaken by the events around her. Her voice is open and inviting, it is like listening to a friend. The novel - which relates many points of view and political positions - works because Sameera both ...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
...more
Smitha Murthy
I had read ‘Goat Days’ earlier and really liked it. ‘Jasmine Days’ won the inaugural JCB Prize for Literature and I was curious to read more of Benyamin.

‘Jasmine Days’ is set in an unnamed country. From the description, you might guess it is the UAE, but Benyamin never reveals it. We are taken through some tumultuous happenings in this country through the voice of Sameera, a radio jockey from Pakistan.

The story is almost a prop - the real story is how Benyamin uses Sameera to express the voice
...more
Ajay
Jan 23, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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...
...more
Bookishbong  Moumita
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
...more
Nishant Bhagat
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Meghna Pant
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Divya
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
AJ
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jasmine days superbly captures how the life of a young woman, Sameera, is flipped around as she finds herself in the middle of a revolution in the country she has moved to.

Sameera is enjoying her life as an RJ in an unnamed Middle-Eastern country when suddenly the political environment around her changes. She finds people dear to her on opposite sides, baying to defeat the other. And worse, she finds both sides doing things that horrify her. The book wonderfully captures her emotions as she nav
...more
Anuradha Gupta
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Tamoghna Mukherjee
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
...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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“അവസരങ്ങൾ പറക്കും നക്ഷത്രങ്ങളെപ്പോലെയാണ്. നമ്മുടെ കണ്മുന്നിൽ വച്ച് അത് അപ്രത്യക്ഷമാകും. പിന്നെ അതിനെയോർത്ത് വ്യാകുലപ്പെട്ടിട്ട് ഒരു കാര്യവുമില്ല.” 18 likes
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