Dakhma ~ K.Hari Kumar

Anahita Anand, along with her husband, Varun, is excited about their new phase in life. They have moved from Gurgaon to Mumbai and rented an apartment in Malabar Hills. However, soon, Anahita starts experiencing things that have no logical explanation. Her search to solve the mystery leads her to a woman named, Parizaad, who apparently died of suicide. The mystery continues to deepen, blurring the lines for Anahita between hallucinations and reality.

“Dakhma” is the Parsi Tower of Silence. Parsi’s neither bury their dead nor do they create them. Rather, they leave the corpse on top of the Tower Of Silence for vultures. So how does Dakhma fit into the story of Anahita? This is one of the many puzzles that make up the book.

Anahita has not had an easy life. An accident in childhood injured Anahita’s amygdala, the part of the brain that controls emotions related to fear and sadness. Another traumatic incident in her teenage years leaves Anahita even more fragile. Daily, Anahita battles many phobias, including claustrophobia and genophobia. Her fragile mental state makes her prone to hallucinations. When she first encounters the other-worldly presence, everyone blames it on her mental state.

Dakhma is a psychological thriller with elements of horror thrown in the mix. There is a slow buildup where the author lays the foundation of Anahita’s mental state. The author has done in-depth research into the mental issues faced by Anahita and treats her issues with respect and empathy. Anahita, as a bewildered young woman tottering between reality and hallucinations, arouses sympathy in the reader. Mehr, as Anahita’s best friend, is shown to be a strong, independent modern young woman. Varun, Anahita’s husband fits the frame for a typical Indian husband, more bothered with his career than his wife’s wellbeing.

The parts of the book, where Varun’s marketing company is trying to propel Bhau’s nephew as future CM using social media, is a great piece of satire. The parallels with the current political scenario in India make you nod your head.

Anahita’s story has sufficient twists and turns to keep the reader engaged and unable to close the book until done. The horror elements (like the tentacles sequence and the one with a vulture), flash in and out, causing shivers down the reader’s spine. And yet, one cannot help but keep turning the pages. The reader is kept guessing as to what is real, what is hallucination and what is paranormal. And this is what makes Dakhma a riveting read.

If one had to quibble about the cons of the book, then the character of Rosemary, though important in creating doubt in the mind of Anahita, felt a bit forced. Even the big revelation, at least for me, was a tad expected.

I am not a horror reader, but as another horror author said a few days ago, the genre is just a label, it is the story that matters. And in Dakhma, the story is top-notch.

I received this book through Blogchatter’s Book Review program. Dakhma” is available for purchase on Amazon.in.

Psst . My first book “Xanadu: Three Souls Searching For Their Paradise” is available on Amazon, do check it out!

4 thoughts on “Dakhma ~ K.Hari Kumar

  1. So finally I found my way to your blog, thought the Bookish League. Glad to be here.
    I’m not a horror fan too but I love psychological thrillers even though they leave me sleepless. This one sounds like a mix. A good way for me to test the waters on horror books.

    Liked by 1 person

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