The story of the return of the Mumbai-based techie, Hamid Ansari, after spending six years in a Pakistani jail

New Delhi, 18 December 2019 : On the one-year anniversary of Hamid Nihal Ansari’s return to India, Penguin Random House India announces the acquisition of a book that will narrate his real story of survival and return. Co-written by journalist Geeta Mohan, this untitled true story will be out in next year and will be published under the Ebury Press imprint of Penguin Random House. Ebury Press is one of the country’s most successful imprints dedicated to discovering, publishing and building the best voices in popular fiction and non-fiction.

In this book, Hamid Ansari’s unique and spectacular true story of his love-rescue mission, which turned into a fight for survival, comes to life. Recounting the real life events that led to his release on 18 December 2018, after spending six years in captivity in a Pakistani jail, this tell-all will reveal Hamid’s side of the story—his determination to survive backstabbing and allegations of espionage in a foreign country and his fight to come back to his homeland. This book will also reveal the resilient struggle of a mother who shook three nations—Pakistan, India and Afghanistan—to find her son. Her journey to justice will include the efforts of a formidable team that campaigned for Hamid’s release, such as Zeenat Shehzadi, a Pakistani journalist; Rakhshanda Naz, the legal counsel; Advocate Qazi Muhammad Anwar, her lawyer, who turned the case around for the Ansari family; the civil society and courts of Pakistan, former external affairs minister late Sushma Swaraj; India’s Ministry of External Affairs; and activist and journalist Jatin Desai.

Commenting on the publication of his real-life story, Hamid Ansari says, ‘You will definitely lose if you just sit and cry. This story is not an imagination of a writer or poet, it is my true experience. The life as a prisoner on foreign land. It narrates three stages of struggle and how hard work pays off: mine, my mother’s and family’s, and of the people in Pakistan who came forward to help us.’ Hamid is currently working as a visiting faculty at a junior college in Mumbai and a motivational speaker and working on his way to entrepreneurship.

Milee Ashwarya, Publisher, Ebury Publishing and Vintage Publishing, Penguin Random House India, says, ‘They say that truth is stranger than fiction. It certainly rings true in the case of Hamid Ansari. Hamid went to Pakistan to rescue his friend got captured and suffered in captivity for six years before returning to India on 18 December 2018. This book that he has written with Geeta Mohan narrates what transpired in Pakistan and how he eventually found his way back home after a long struggle. I am delighted to publish the book, and I hope many more people can read and discover the true story of Hamid Ansari.’

The co-author of the book, Geeta Mohan, says, ‘It was a fascinating experience to write about the fierce strength that so many people showed in ensuring Hamid Ansari is reunited with his family. This is a story of strength, grit and determination that crossed borders. A story that, in humanitarian issues between India and Pakistan, should become the rule and not the exception.’

Geeta Mohan is the Editor, Foreign Affairs, India Today, TV Today Network. A journalist for seventeen years, she worked with other leading English channels of India: Times Now, Headlines Today, NewsX and DD News. Her focus area has been foreign policy and international relations.


About Penguin Random House India

Penguin Random House India is the largest English language trade publisher in the subcontinent, publishing over 250 new titles every year and with an active backlist of over 3000 titles. With a strong fiction and non-fiction list, it publishes across every segment including biography, travel, business, politics, history, religion and philosophy, lifestyle, cookery, health and fitness, sports and leisure, visual books and children’s books. The children’s titles are published under the Puffin imprint.

Penguin Random House India’s illustrious list includes Booker Prize-winning novels and winners of virtually every major literary prize, including the Nobel Prize, the Magsaysay Award, the Jnanpith Award, the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Several of PRHI’s authors are also recipients of the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Vibhushan, India’s highest civilian honors.

Penguin Random House India is also the exclusive distribution partner for several leading local and international publishing houses in India and the sub-continent.

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Pallavi Narayan