Two and a half rivers

Paper Type: Book print paper | Size: 216mm x 140mm; 236pp
Black and white
ISBN-13: 978-93-91125-20-2


A depressed doctor and a young Dalit couple caught in the vortex of an armed insurgency.

A recently divorced doctor looking for seclusion relocates to an isolated house on a riverbank. The following summer dead bodies start turning up in the river, on the roads, in trains and on city crossings. Everybody calls it the ‘Punjab Problem’, as if it were a stubborn crossword puzzle. The doctor is kidnapped and nearly killed, once by terrorists for helping the police and once by police for helping the terrorists. 

A young Dalit girl, with the dream of becoming a dancer in her eyes, and her soulmate Bheem leave their caste-ridden existence behind and relocate to Bombay. They have learnt the hard way that the preaching of oneness by their religion does not work in the real world. 

Drawing its title from the historicity of the Partition which has left in its wake only two and a half rivers to India from the land of the five rivers, Anirudh Kala’s novel offers a poignant commentary on the turbulent connection between religion and terrorism.

Anirudh Kala
Anirudh Kala

Anirudh Kala is a psychiatrist by profession and Clinical Director of Mind Plus, Ludhiana in Punjab. The latter is an intermediate stay facility for treatment of psychiatric illnesses and substance use disorders.   He was a member of the expert group tasked by Government of India with writing Mental Health Policy for the country, which was released in 2014.

He also writes fiction and has published several short stories. An anthology of interconnected stories, “Unsafe Asylum: Stories of Partition and Madness” was published in 2018 by Speaking Tiger books. “Two and a Half Rivers” is a novel based on a young Dalit couple caught in the vortex of terrorism in Punjab and is his second work of fiction. A non-fiction book “Most of What You Know About Addiction is Not True” with focus on addictions in Punjab will be released early next year.

Anirudh Kala has been instrumental in forging cross border links between two sides of Punjab and is founder of “Indo-Pak Punjab Psychiatric Society.”

He is fond of Urdu poetry, travelling and semi-classical music.