Mosam Shah, a former legal director with an investment bank and advisor to many start-ups, recently launched her book ‘Beyond Borders – A Bharat-Pakistan Love Story.’ Beyond Borders, a contemporary Indo-Pak romance work of fiction, is the first of its kind – based in the current day and age and not around the time of partition, It is a coming-of-age love story that makes you ponder the meaning of true love. The book explores the theme of how events at a macro level can percolate down to the micro level and cause upheaval in lives. It delves into the classic struggle between the left brain and right, where one side says that this love is a betrayal to their families and nations and the other side just cannot resist this connection of the souls. Beyond Borders traces Aisha and Aahaan’s story from being struggling artists to becoming famous, showing the attendant perils of fame, from their insecurities and scars to healing their relationship with each other and with their estranged family.
When asked what inspired this story, Mosam Shah said, “This book stems from a very personal experience. I was travelling solo in Berlin when I got lost and a guy helped me out. As we got to talking, I realised that he was from Pakistan. As soon as I found that out, I told him that I can’t talk to him and turned around. A couple of years later, I was in Mumbai, and you know how the houses in Mumbai can feel cramped. Each evening when I returned home from work, I would switch on the lamps and put on the music of Ali Sethi. He hadn’t released Pasoori back then and wasn’t as famous as he is now. But I had heard all his songs and took comfort from them. That’s when I realised my hypocrisy. I had refused to talk to a person who had helped me because of his nationality and here I was taking comfort from the songs of a person despite his nationality. That’s when I decided to write about this conditioning and bias. After all, we are people who have the same history.”
Written from the POV of both Aisha and Aahaan, readers will resonate to the struggle between passion and conditioning, between what the heart wants and the brain commands. What makes this book unique is that each chapter is to be read with a song in the background. As Mosam says, “Doing that will allow you to experience of power of words and music simultaneously. It will take you places with the characters and make you feel the way they do.” The songs are mentioned at the start of each chapter and this book even has a Spotify playlist.
Mosam Shah, who is a Chartered Accountant by education, has worked in the legal advisory field for more than 12 years. However, her passion lies in travel and writing. “Each time I travel, I find a new story,” she said. Her past works include Aranya: An unconventional love story. She has also been an active blogger and a top writer in fiction and travel on Medium. Mosam Shah is an avid reader of Indian political history, religion and ofcourse, travel fiction.
Beyond Borders was released on 24 October 2023 and is available at major bookstores across Ahmedabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Kolkata, and at airports and with major online retailers.