‘Fizz’ the debut novel by Kannan sketches the Indo-Pak conflict in an engaging and amusing way. The book moves at breakneck pace. There is a lot of chaos and confusion but everything converges towards the judgement day where a nuke explosion will change the face of the subcontinent forever.
Synopsis: When a half German and half Jew arms businessman devises a scheme to create conditions to have a conducive world atmosphere for his arms, he chooses a Pakistani Colonel, who has the motive to plan an attack on India.
Only, the attack would be a strategic nuclear attack that should appear like an earthquake under the Himalayas. Colonel Pasha enrols disgraced Qadar Khan, once hailed as ‘Father of Nukes’ in Pakistan but living a hermit’s life.
For Khan, it is the last chance to reclaim lost glory. China immediately accepts the proposal and was ready to provide the ‘device’ and arrange logistics for successful execution. Well, China has its own share of Uyghurs to take care and they decide by helping Pakistan to carry out this plan they can get rid of their own problems.
Also, they get a chance to test their technology in a practical condition. Pasha sends Habibullah, a mujahedeen to scout a perfect location where he can detonate device, without getting caught. Habibullah, unaware of actual plan, embarks on the dangerous journey in the snow clad mountains, with a gang of mujahideen.
A young physics, an old disciple of Qadar Khan was sent to China to get trained and execute the plan. Rizwan couldn’t refuse when he was told Qadar is in-charge of the operation. When the scheme was leaked in world press, America tries to intervene.
Nationalists in India rise against the scheme and want the government to go for pre-emptive actions. Indian Muslims want safety from the majority Hindus, in case of a devious attack by Pakistan. Arab terrorist organisations wanted control over the Pakistan’s nuclear device. When they were negotiating with the head of ISI, an Israeli agent gas them.
Dead body of ISI head in Dubai proves the complicity of Pakistan. And the Prime Minister of Pakistan was unaware of Pasha’s scheme! Indian government prepares to counter the purported attack, with equal force and starts deploying nukes. American President sends a commando into the bedroom of Pakistan’s Prime Minister with a terse message to act against Pasha. Pakistani establishment declares Pasha a traitor and arrests his family.
Disappearance of Qadar, originally born in India becomes the much hated figure for his scheming against the land in which he was born. Rizwan, who only knew the intelligent side of Qadar could not understand the things and believes in Qadar. ‘One can take Pakistan out of India, but can never take India out of Pakistan’, How the Indian born Pakistani, Qadar executes the plan conceived by Borg?
What about his childhood friends, who are Indians? Will the nuclear device is detonated and who would be blamed? How India deals with the pressure mounting on it from its own people and international powers? Does Pakistan really care for Kashmir?
Post Script: The book is dotted with amusing episodes. One, in which the Sultan of Oman explains to the POTUS how a US President can never be the Sultan of Oman but technically, a Sultan can be the President of the United States is hilarious. Another, in which a young scientist calculates the energy released from controlled nuclear explosion using basic math and some ‘sketching’ (yes sketching) is quite amusing too.
What are the geographical challenges Habibullah face in the cold desert and start introspection of his past deeds? What would patriotic Pasha do when charged with treason, while he was on his way to execute the most lethal attack on India?
Almost like the surgical strike by Indian army, the commando sent by American Cowboy President wakes up Pakistani Prime Minister in his bed room.
How tough Americans negotiate? How the Chinese make decisions, almost like a board room meeting, with everyone sees a solution in the nuclear problems?
Or how Russians authorise their one-in-all President for any action? How efficient is Israel’s reach in today’s world? Fizz by Kannan is a fun read.
Not many Indian authors have explored the world-politics-fiction genre, Kannan does it with supreme ease. Fizz deals with real subjects using a fictional narrative. A Must read for Geo-Politics (and humor) enthusiasts.
Few Lines From Fizz by Kannan
The advantage of having a scientist to detonate the bomb, rather than a soldier, is that he can take a decision based on his knowledge and wisdom. Soldier is trained to follow instructions, while a learned man evolves by questioning the orders.
Silence won’t serve any purpose. If you have the audacity to spoil something, you should have the ability to plan something else too. I knew the faith quotient I enjoy is negative.
He can’t control even a single wife, but has two. In a way, he is like your unofficial prince of India – he wants the power but not the responsibilities. Even power, he cannot digest.
What are you waiting for? Go grab a copy of Fizz