Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Bridge On The Drina - A Yugoslav Novel

August 05, 2010 | Comments: 0 | Views: 109

There are rare books in Dayal Singh Library at ITO in Delhi. The Bridge on the Drina is a very powerful novel written by a Yugoslav doctor.

I was casually browsing through the books in the shelves. I would go through the opening paragraphs and if I liked it, I would take it.

The book opens with a vivid description of the turbulent river and the boatman, before the construction of the bridge. It ends with the blasting of the river by Turks, after withdrawal from Kosovo.

I got a clear picture of the Kosovo problem after reading the book.

The two powers, the Turks and the Russians, were at war frequently, with periods of rest, for the control of Eastern Europe in the fifteenth century. At that time Turky was in control of the whole of Europe, except Russian Europe.

After one such war, Kosovo, a Slav majority area, comes under the control of Turkey, when peace treaty is signed. The theme of the novel is the Slav resistance movement against the Turks. On one side of the river are the Muslims who favour Turkey and on the opposite side are the Slavs, fighting a guerrilla war against Turkey.

Three friends," terrorists", make a secret plan to sabotage the construction of the bridge. The Turks want the bridge for movement of troops against Russia, their leader warns. Shall we stand still, watching it come up?

Meanwhile, work is going on under the supervision of the Turkish commander, who conscripts the entire villagers for voluntary work and, after the piers are constructed, girders are being made.

Every day they find some tools go missing. After diligent watch, the three men are caught, but two manage to jump into the river, to face certain death. The third man is put on the stake.

Experts are hired for this work. A stake is inserted through the rectum and thrust into the body without damaging any internal organs like the heart, lungs, stomach etc., till it comes out of the mouth, and is put up in a busy place, until the man dies after several days....People watch helplessly, as any act of sympathy will invite punishment.

After his death, a close friend removes the body secretly in the night and performs funeral ceremony according to Christian rites.

When the work is over, it becomes public place, with gardens, tea shops etc. Lovers enjoy the sight from the bridge! Special arrangements have been made on the bridge for people to spend their evenings and it becomes a busy centre.

Movement across the bridge is closely watched by military officers. One officer is duped into falling in love with a not so young woman guerrilla activist, in veil, who escorts 'her ill grandmother' (a guerrilla leader), also in veil, several times across the river. When exposed, the officer commits suicide! This chapter alone can be published as a short story!

There is no hero or heroine. Each chapter is independent. Several important characters come and go.

After a long time, following a fresh treaty between Russia and Turkey, the latter withdraws from Slav areas and blows up the bridge after withdrawal, for which suitable holes had been secretly built into the piers. The novel ends here.

There are several gripping stories in between and the book is never boring. The reader will find it difficult to believe that it is written by a doctor!

The remnants of the bridge can still be seen.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Yugoslav Novel Doctor Novel Ends Powerful Novel Written Kosovo Problem False

Finding and collecting vintage comic books for fun and profit is something that is interesting, but can be difficult. With so many places to look, narrowing down the options can be painstaking, until

By: Jorge Orduna l Book Reviews > Comics Humor l July 07, 2012 lViews: 286

Action packed story that reads like you are there in person. Lieutenant Commander Andrew Carlson was a U.S. Navy Seal. He was as rough and tough as they come. He was part of a mission to be inserted

By: Cy Hilterman l Book Reviews > Mysteries Thrillers l July 06, 2012 lViews: 278

"Look Me In The Eye, If You Dare!" Okay, all of You "Internet Millionaire Moguls," I want some answers, and I want them now.

By: Travis L Perkins l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 310

Crush it is a great "How to" book on using social media and being real with yourself on what you do. Gary is very passionate about what he does. The key to his success is blending who he is with what

By: Joe Mosed l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 547

My resolution this year was to knuckle down and do something to bring in some new clients for my practice, so I was pleased to see that Internet Marketing Bible for Accountants looked like it might

By: Karen K Jefferson l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 296

When promoting your business online, are you using internet marketing? If you have yet to spread your branches into the online world, you ought to consider doing so.

By: Joyce McNeill Christopher l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 282

A book review on "Understanding Public Policy" by Prof. Paul Cairney. Recommendation of this very well structured, informative and up-to-date overview of public policy studies in political science.

By: Sebastian Hubert Gehartl Book Reviews > Politicsl June 12, 2012 lViews: 201

A dispassionate analysis of the most sensitive region in the context of extremism in the world, the book, coming from the former foreign secretary of Pakistan, is a breath of fresh air in the

By: Tarique R Memonl Book Reviews > Politicsl June 10, 2012 lViews: 276

This book is written by Farhat Taj and is a serious indictment of the state of Pakistan, especially its feared security agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The author is a Norway-based

By: Tarique R Memonl Book Reviews > Politicsl June 09, 2012 lViews: 224

The new roots of the healthcare system must be based on what the public wants - not what our misguided politicians want. Uproot U.S. Healthcare: To Reform U.S. Healthcare, by Deane Waldman, MD MBA,

By: Lauren S. Smithl Book Reviews > Politicsl February 06, 2011 lViews: 178

After reading Harry Markopolos's No One Would Listen, I had to shake my head in disbelief and mutter the old adage. "there's none so blind as those who will not see." Markopolos is a Chartered

By: Norm Goldmanl Book Reviews > Politicsl January 02, 2011 lViews: 202

Hollywood as the dream making machine of the US has played a very crucial role in winning the hearts and minds of the people during its lifetime since nearly a century ago. By making James Bonds and

By: Rezvan Bayatil Book Reviews > Politicsl January 01, 2011 lViews: 209

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus