Deborah Rodriguez is back with the an encouraging insight on the lives of six women in the Return of the Little Coffee Shop at Kabul. With this long awaited sequel of the international bestseller, The Little Coffee shop of Kabul, the author creates an interesting account of living with all that one has instead of
cribbing for what one longs.
The story revolves around the lives of six women and the challenges they face in day to day life. It is an account of ideological variants and the cultural attachment to their place. However, the characters differ but agree that the rights for women and their freedom must be respected whole-heartedly.
One feels an instant connect to the story with an aromatic description of the little coffee house. It starts with a character Sunny, the owner of the coffee house, a lady full of contend and empathy, bearing a heart of gold. She is a strong woman, living in Kabul but to her fate breaks down after she learns about Jack's death. She was all alone left in a mess but garnered strength and faced every challenge with all her will.
The story also reads about Yazmina, now the owner of the cafe, the amount of difficulties she faced in the past, author describes her journey gracefully as to how she emerges out as a strong mother, in spite of a terrifying event that could spoil everything at the heart of her family and business, and how the event turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Halajan, an old woman with heart as young as a teenager is known to be a rebel but no sooner reader comes in terms with her courage. The way she manages her family and encourages them to the core and turns out be an inspiration for everyone. She seems to be a never ending motivation in thick and thin with the recital of her poet friend ‘Rumi’s quotes’.
There is also a girl Zara stuck within her own difficulties; about to be forced in to a marriage and the devastating consequences she faces forthwith affixes the reader then and there.
The book also gives a well defined description of two Afghan teenage girls in America, Kat and Layla who struggle to come in terms with the cultural ambiguity, trying and making sense of their place in the world.
Moreover, there are many instances in the anecdote that may boost the inner strength of the reader but my personal favourite are those quotes of Rumi, which brings in a ray of hope to oneself. One of them is when Halajan says, “With educated women comes prosperity, with our voices comes mercy and with our strength comes the change. Like Rumi says, when a bird gets free, it does not go back for remnants left at the bottom of the cage.”
The story boasts about women's strength and courage in a fast pacing world. It deals with the creative power of the characters that tends to build a sense of positivity in the mind of the reader.
Though every character had distinctive experiences to muse, but the woman I could relate to the most was Halajan, even in her old-age, she had an aura and a tremendous vigour to influence people with her arresting one-liners. Her visions on the ways of life were flare of emotions in a lot more witty yet thoughtful manner.
It is a must read for all those who need a guiding light to reach their destination or are in search of the meaning of their lives. It helps one understand, that whatever happens is for good, it is always better to look over every obstacle and cherish the hidden opportunities.