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A Beautiful Lie by Irfan Master [Excerpt]

A Beautiful Lie by Irfan Master [Excerpt]

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Published by OpenRoadMedia
“Everybody lies. We all do it. Many years ago I told one lie that has taken on a life of its own.”

In India in 1947 the country is coming apart—and so is thirteen-year-old Bilal’s life. He is determined to protect his dying father from the news of Partition, news that he knows will break his father’s heart. With spirit and determination, and with the help of his good friends, Bilal builds an elaborate deception, even printing false pages of the local newspaper to hide the signs of national unrest. All Bilal wants is for his father to die in peace. But that means Bilal has a very complicated relationship with the truth. This extraordinarily rich debut novel brings to live a key moment in history and touches on the importance of tolerance, love, and family.
“Everybody lies. We all do it. Many years ago I told one lie that has taken on a life of its own.”

In India in 1947 the country is coming apart—and so is thirteen-year-old Bilal’s life. He is determined to protect his dying father from the news of Partition, news that he knows will break his father’s heart. With spirit and determination, and with the help of his good friends, Bilal builds an elaborate deception, even printing false pages of the local newspaper to hide the signs of national unrest. All Bilal wants is for his father to die in peace. But that means Bilal has a very complicated relationship with the truth. This extraordinarily rich debut novel brings to live a key moment in history and touches on the importance of tolerance, love, and family.

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Categories:Book Excerpts
Published by: OpenRoadMedia on Oct 08, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/19/2013

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Irfan Master 
A BEAUTIFUL LIE 
!
Prologue
Everybody lies. We all do it. Sometimes we lie because it makes usfeel better and sometimes we lie because it makes others feel better.Many years ago I told one lie that has taken on a lifeof its own. It defines me as a person. The only time I was sureof anything was all those years ago, whenI was a boy. When I was lying. Since then I’ve never been comfortable with anything in my life. We all do it. On August 14, 1947, I learned thateverybody lies, but that not all lies are equal …
 Anaar Gully,Northern India,June 1947
Chapter 1
 
Something was wrong. I could sense it but I couldn’tput my finger on what it was. It reminded me of when my 
 
Irfan Master 
A BEAUTIFUL LIE 
!
father would jerk his head this way and that, sniffing the airlike an agitated rooster. He would look at me and say, “Can you smell a change in the air, my boy? Monsoon is coming.”This feeling was like that. I could sense that there wassomething on its way but it wasn’t rain or monsoon—it waseven bigger.I was walking through the market, cradling a largemelon in my arms, lost in thought, but the scent of jasminetugged me back into the present. I stopped to watch the lineof flower vendors carefully stringing petals into piles of necklaces.Out of all the flower vendors, Jayesh had thesharpest eyes and the nimblest fingers, and his pile wasalways bundled higher than everybody else’s.People from the surrounding villages would come just to see Jayesh sitting cross-legged at his workbenchthreading flower after flower. I made my way across to hisstall. A few months ago he would have had a crowd gatheredround but today there was only me. I watched for a few minutes as he delicately threaded each petal without pausingonce. I waited patiently for the moment when he slipped arose petal into his mouth and began to chew—by the time hehad swallowed the petal, the necklace would be finished. As he slipped a rose petal into his mouth, I smiled tomyself. Some things never changed. But my smile faded as Ithought how recently some things
had 
changed. It appearedthat life continued as normal but there was a tension in themarket I’d never felt before; little signs that things were notthe same.

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