Tag Archives: books

Book Review – Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted WorldDeep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked up this book with a lot of expectation and interest. The point Cal Newport makes is very valid, but it is not a new point, and he doesn’t claim it to be.

In my opinion, the deep work approach is most applicable to “thinking work” – such as research, academics, writing, etc. The point is simple – work in larger chunks of time un-distracted and uninterrupted, to see your productivity and creativity soar. Make it a routine ordered by rules.
The book tries to offer these set of rules as a path to set yourself up for deep work.

One of its major points is – stay as away as possible from social media – which I tend to agree with to an extent, as it can really take over your life and time, once you’re hooked – and when you really come to think of it, it adds very little value to anything of depth. Its basically a superficial time guzzler that we need to be more mindfully careful of.

While I enjoyed reading the first half of the book, after the 60% mark I lost interest completely. It became a long winding narrative that I felt was repetitive with nothing new to share. I mostly skimmed through the rest of it.

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Book Review: The Story of the Lost Child – Elena Ferrante

Whoopie! This review was listed on the official Elena Ferrante website! Check it out: http://elenaferrante.com/reviews/the-brain-curry/

4 STARS ****

And so, finally I come to the end of this saga.Reading the #NeapolitanBooks has been like a journey almost – of which, sometimes I was a part, and sometimes I was  a removed observer. Ferrante writes very well, her range is remarkable, her expansive web of characters, feelings, emotions and personalities is captivating. Her writing comes from a depth that makes you feel certain that this is her story or a major part of it is a ‘fictionalised’ autobiography – – – and somewhere, possibly the very personal nature of the story compels her to protect her own identity as well as of those who may be easily identifiable from the book.

Ferrante’s story interweaves conflicting feelings like affection, anger, concern, desire, despair, empathy, malice, grief,  happiness, love, pride, rage, remorse, shame almost simultaneously. The essence of all 4 books in the series is that they present a narrative that is transparent – laying bare each personality’s flaws, failures and self centered narcissism at risk of judgment, and also revealing unexpected instances of benevolence and consideration – that you constantly remain in an  ambivalent state of mind and come away with possibly inconclusive emotions to fulfill that need to compartmentalize individuals as a result of their actions.

And yet I give The Story of the Lost Child less than a perfect score, possibly because the  tumultuous friendship of Elena and Lila has reached its most disturbing and unpredictable form. It became constantly more difficult to be okay with the suffocating, often controlling and spiteful co-dependency that Elena and Lila shared through their turbulent adult lives.

This quote sums it up perfectly:

Every intense relationship between human beings is full of traps, and if you want it to endure you have to learn to avoid them. I did so then, and finally it seemed that I had only come up against yet another proof of how splendid and shadowy our friendship was.

—— Elena Ferrante, The Story of the Lost Child

In the end, my month with the Neapolitan Books was extremely rewarding. I can now say that all the fuss and buzz around her is completely authentic and well-founded. Being nominated for the Man Booker is well deserved and if we take into account the entire series, I think she is a definite front runner. I wish her all the best!

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Book Review : Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante

Those Who Leave and Those Who StayThose Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

By the end of this one, I knew I had to take a break and not start the fourth book immediately. That is the effect these books have had on me and I’ve torn through the first three non-stop, as if they were one book and not three.

In this one we see Elena and Lila go through their 20s and 30s. Time passes quickly for Elena from being a young university student to unknowingly a somewhat acclaimed author and then the wife of a professor – all signs of having truly ‘arrived’ in life. Lila on the other hand is going through a disturbingly downward spiral in her life and there is an evident distance between the two friends during these years.

This one brought out the really raw emotions of both women and I wondered many times if their relationship could really be called a friendship anymore. There’s a constant love-hate equation that is frustrating and disturbing to witness. There is a demanded dependence, rough abdication. Jealousy abounds. Its almost claustrophobic – a claustrophobia of the mind.

And yet you keep reading, hoping to understand why, hoping they will relinquish the cold war, or break off completely rather than be mirrors of misery to each other.

Elena’s need for verification is almost tragic – Lila never ceases to be a benchmark, she can never shake her off.

“My becoming was a becoming in her wake.”

“my thoughts were cut off in the middle, absorbing and yet defective, with an urgent need for verification, for development, yet without conviction, without faith in themselves. Then the wish to telephone her returned, to tel her: Listen to what I’m thinking about, please lets talk about it together.”

And Lila, unapologetic and vengeful, violently expresses her independence and disengagement – which displays her need to coverup insecurities, setbacks and failures even more – which are unacceptable to her, and yet her reality.

The story traces how both women deal with their own circumstances and situations in life. Each reassuring herself of having the better one in comparison to the other, and each seemingly unhappy with it. They compete constantly. They are bolder, more reckless, more selfish and yet there are a few tender moments that confuse and conflict how you feel about them.

One cannot help but ‘feel’ – for them and with them.

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Cover Image: Goodreads.com
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Book Review : The Story of a New Name – Elena Ferrante

The Story of a New NameThe Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I generally tend to devour books, but this one devoured me. Elena Ferrante’s writing captivates, engrosses, absorbs, consumes, devastates and satisfies. Not a single free minute has been spent on anything but reading this second volume in her Neapolitan Series these past 4 days.

While it was easier to take sides in the first book, in this one, I constantly aligned and realigned myself first with Lenu and then with Lila, reaching a point where both exasperated me and I wanted nothing to do with either. But just like Lenu is bound and drawn to Lila, I was so embroiled in their lives and it was impossible to abandon reading until I was finished.

Lila’s actions repeatedly evoke the ‘she brought this upon herself’ feeling – with little or no sympathy (yet). For Lenu, I feel like I want to shake her up, snap her out of her constant need to compare herself to her childhood friend, and always find a way to undermine her own achievements even when she’s done much better than her. At this point, it is difficult not to care, not to be involved.

I’ve put it much to simply to be fair to the expansive layers that come through from all that takes place in this young adult, extremely turbulent period of their lives, where they ought to have had a more sorted existence, and yet managed to create a tangle of complications in trying to create that ideal life that has been their sole aspiration since childhood.

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The Blood Telegram – Book Review

***** 5 STARS

The Blood Telegram may possibly be one of the most important and well written books I’ve read on modern Indian history so far. As someone who is almost always incurious, indifferent and unenthusiastic about politics (national and world) in general, reading this book has been a revelation on international diplomacy as well as a completely new perspective on the maneuverings that take place in the highest offices of the world, and the decisions that set in motion a series of incidents that alter the future of generations to come.

I’ve read this book like the history student I never was, completely absorbed in the details, wanting to take down notes, watching simultaneous interviews on YouTube (bringing to life the pages of the book) and constantly resisting the urge to underline complete paragraphs on nearly every page in the book. In the end, I had to make an exception to my ‘no markings in books’ rule – to highlight passages that I knew I was going to want to refer to again.



My interest in modern Indian history is a fairly recent development, sprouting in the last couple of years mostly because of the extensive research I did for a project at work. Before this, my world view was limited to what we studied (or were taught) in school, which was nothing short of propaganda that the ruling party wants to feed you, and therefore hardly worth basing lasting opinions on. And so for a long time, reading history was not even on my radar.

It is laughable that up until now, I did not even know that the major part of the 1971 conflict was actually on the eastern side! It is the western side of the war that I’ve always remembered hearing about and being born just over a decade after this war, it is appalling to realize how little I knew about ‘India’s greatest triumph’ and what led to it.

This is why ‘The Blood Telegram’ came as such an important lesson for me on not just the 1971 war and the history of the birth of Bangladesh, but also as a lesson in world politics, the Cold War context, international relations, foreign policy and the hidden motives that define the realms and repercussions of international conflict. 

Gary J Bass’ research is detailed and expansive, and while there is always the danger of the author’s opinion coloring the inferences in the narrative, I think he dealt with every aspect as objectively and un-biasedly as is possible, basing all his interpretations and conjectures on hard facts. This is one of the reasons I am so taken by the book, because every fact literally comes from the horse’s mouth.

The one thing this book would not have been possible without, is the Nixon White House Tapes. Another fact that was news to me. I find it hard to believe that in the era of the Cold War, when secrecy and confidentiality were paramount, a US President would decide to have his office bugged and all his conversations and confidential meetings recorded. A tradition that continues to be practiced even today. In the Indian context, I can totally picture the author and his researchers diving into archival records and microfilms at the Nehru Memorial Library – a place I think is frozen in time from the 70s… and one I have spent several blissful days doing my own historical research in. Oh what a pleasure it would have been to be a part of the research team for this book.

In the end, we are ruled by our personalities, our temperaments, identities and insecurities – and I think what hit me most from the book was the interface it provided with Nixon and Kissinger in their revealing closed door conversations. Ultimately, it was their convictions, preferences and personal opinions that largely affected the outcome of the events in 1971, which despite numerous warnings and evident indications did not waver – and set the stage for a continuing conflict between India and Pakistan.

A #highlyrecommended book for anyone who would like objective and detailed insight into one of the largest but forgotten conflicts of the Indian subcontinent.

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The 2016 Compulsive Collector’s Reading Challenge

I’ve already set myself a challenge to read 30 books this year (last year I managed 27). But the real challenge I’m setting for myself is to complete this target by reading from the books I already own.

Like most book lovers, I love to collect books – to be surrounded by books on my shelves, in my bag and in my iPad. I labor for hours online, reading several reviews and book lists to find the in best crime, thriller and contemporary fiction, and discover the most interesting true life, historical and autobiographical non-fiction. And while I keep hoarding this absolutely great stack of books (which I also fondly gaze at everyday), whenever I need to pick one to read, I almost always choose a completely new one, that was never even a part of this pile. I am greedy like that, yes. I only seem to want more and I never want to share! 😛

Having 10 unread books sitting in my book rack already, and 44 others in my iPad, did not stop me from bringing 15 more into my heart and home from the Delhi World Book Fair this weekend. Though I will say that I got these at throw away prices and at least I am not guilty about spending the month’s salary on them!


So with that firm resolve, here’s my 2016 Reading the books I own Challenge.

Indian History

  • White Mughals
  • The Blood Telegram
  • Delhi: A Novel

Non Fiction

  • Geisha
  • Daughter of China
  • The Book of General Ignorance
  • Gangs
  • The Girl with 7 Names
  • Quest


  • The Seventh Secret
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers
  • That Thing Around Your Neck
  • Jailbird
  • 14 Stories that Inspired Satyajit Ray
  • Americanah
  • The Accidental Tourist
  • Snow Flower and the Secret fan
  • Kafka on the Shore

Crime / Thriller

  • American Assassin
  • Naoko
  • Salvation of a Saint
  • The Case of the Missing Servant
  • K is for Killer
  • The Beautiful Bureaucrat
  • Red Queen
  • Six of Crows

Classic / 18th Century

  • The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • Wolf Hall
  • Bring Up the Bodies

Graphic Novel

  • Fun Home


And that’s it!

I will be working really really hard to stick to this list. I’m sure I’ve missed a few interesting ones, but if I ever want to switch one around, I promise to switch it with one from my existing stack only. Wish me luck!

Do you have a compulsive book collection condition too? I’d love to hear how you deal with it. Until then, Happy Reading!


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Journey Under the Midnight Sun – Book Review

5/5 *****

When I wrote my concluding post of 2015, I thought I’d read all the  good stuff I could that year. But little did I know, that I’d end up reading something later that would have most likely made the top of that list. My decision to start reading this book a few days before I left for a holiday was based on the assumption that it would accompany me on my travels and end up being something I finished in the new year. Yet, 4 days later, there I was, marveling at what I had just read.


Image Source: Crime Fiction Lover


To anyone who has an interest in psychological crime fiction, I cannot recommend this book enough. To those who are looking for an all consuming, remarkable piece of writing, well, what are you waiting for!

Every time I finish a Keigo Higashino book, I am in awe of his imagination, intelligence, depth of detail, his character profiles, the strange stories and plot lines he comes up with, the way he creates Japan in my mind, and his ability to keep me so helplessly glued to them, that even as a 500+ page book ‘Journey Under the Midnight Sun’ is effortless and brilliant. I loved the manner in which this one spans across 20 years, slowing down the passage of time in the story but never losing pace in the telling of it.

When I read ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’, I couldn’t have had a better initiation into Japanese crime fiction or Japanese fiction for that matter, and made a mental note of Higashino as one to watch out for. With ‘Malice’, his brilliance was confirmed and now with ‘Journey Under the Midnight Sun’, he completely satisfies the high bar he has set for himself in each of these books.

While we are quickly running out of translated titles of his novels, I do hope his popularity is picked up with a renewed rigor by translators this year and we find several more titles from this master storyteller hitting the English reader’s market. Both ‘Malice’ and ‘Journey Under the Midnight Sun’ have been among the most memorable books for me in 2015 and in 2016, I look forward to the only two titles in English  I haven’t yet read -‘Salvation of a Saint’ and ‘Naoko’.

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The 10 Best Things I Read in 2015


Its been a good year of reading, better than I had planned for.

I started the year with a GoodReads target of 20 books, a deliberately conservative one because I wanted to make the time to read a lot more outside the book and fiction format.

Must confess – I am a GoodReads geek and give it all the credit for keeping me on my reading toes as well as helping me meet some of the best books out there. The thrill and excitement of looking for my next read never fades and the feeling of accomplishment with every book read is too good to give up.

With FlipBoard as my initial companion and Feedly, a later discovery in the year, there was a whole new world of information that opened up to me. This is also where I discovered #longform journalistic articles, which I am completely latched on to now. I read some of the most moving, well researched and interesting stories here, all brilliantly written and a great lesson in reportage writing.

The best part has been that I ended up reading so much more beyond my fiction fixation. With no pressure to complete my annual target of 20 books, I ended up reading 26! The only side effect was a bit of digital dry eye syndrome, what with constantly staring at my work computer, then at my ipad screen or at a book. But nothing a few eye drops couldn’t take care off – my 20/20 vision prevails 🙂

So with no further ado, here’s a list of the 10 best things I read this year, in descending order of bestness.

1 Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng

5/5 – – – – One of the best books I’ve read this year, EINTY had me hooked from the very beginning and kept me absorbed with the same (if not increasing) level of interest and involvement throughout. Being a debut novel, this is an accomplishment. As The Guardian put it very well, “By the third of the 12 chapters, it is apparent that there is much here that might impress Pulitzer and Man Booker judges as much as the panellists of an online bookseller”. The book topped Amazon’s 2014 list of top 100 best sellers of the year.

The story of a mixed race family that snaps, cracks and splinters when Lydia, the apple of their eye daughter, is found dead. The narrative runs back and forth in time, lending perspective and background to how the family has shaped into its present form over the years. What expectations, insecurities, failures and disappointments have culminated into this one dreadful and tragic event and the desperate attempt they make to explore and question everything and anything that may have led to it.

All of the 6 main characters are very well developed. Their perspectives, flaws and feelings, even the ones they don’t express, come through so clearly, it is not difficult to empathize with each one and to understand their motivations and impulses. The desperation of both parents in trying to mold their unfulfilled ambitions into one child is unsettling. Hannah, the youngest member of the family was the most endearing character for me, I wished many times to be able to re-assure her.

In the end, the book is about so many things. About love, ambition, identity, loss, fear, security and individuality. #HighlyRecommended #AMustRead

2 Attachments – Rainbow Rowell

5/5 – – – – My first 5 starrer of the year, I thought this one deserved 6! I’m not a sucker for romantic stories, but this one was so well done, so smartly written and super witty, that I just loved it and couldn’t stop recommending it to every second person I met.

Epistolary novels are one of my favorite kinds, especially the contemporary ones, which take place mostly on email. Rainbow Rowell’s writing is witty, hilarious and so practically real that I could totally believe this story to be true. I can only imagine how funny she must be in real life, to spare enough for Beth and Jennifer to have their own individual senses of humor and such funny email exchanges, they make you giggle and smile throughout. Two people, best friends, who totally get each other can totally have conversations like the ones in this book – drifting between funny and sad and supportive and grumbly.

It lead me to read Rowell’s two other books – Landline and Eleanor & Park, but neither makes the cut like this one.

An ideal single sitting book – for the beach, for a plane ride home or just for a quiet Saturday afternoon.

3 Malice – Keigo Higashino

4/5 – – – – I can’t decide if I actually like this book better than The Devotion of Suspect X. There is something about it that lingers and it’s definitely a more complex plot. Keigo brings out the true meaning of malice in such a brilliant twist that it’s literally like a tangled mess of knots being unravelled. Just go read it.

4 Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant – Anne Tyler

4/5 – – – – As I began reading this book, I pictured the author to be an older person, someone mature with experience and the patience that comes with it. The story unfurls gently, as if you are listening to her tell you about this family she once knew, over her knitting needles on a winter afternoon.

I was surprised to discover that the book was written over 30 years ago in 1982, but less surprised to see that it was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1983 (also the year i was born, wow).

Set in the mid-20th century, this family saga of sorts follows Pearl Tull who is a proud, old fashioned woman whose world is limited to her husband and three children – – a result of her own choices, priorities and outlook on life, and her three children, outlining their personalities, their manner of dealing with the lemons life gives them, and their persistent denial in accepting the truth or giving in to a difficult situation.

Anne Tyler tells this simple story of deep emotions very well. Its definitely a book worth reading. You are likely to identify with most of these characters, if not with yourself then then definitely with someone you know…

5 People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo–and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up – Richard Lloyd Parry

4/5 – – – – Many readers called this a true crime, high drama, psychological thriller all wrapped into one and I couldn’t agree more. At the same time it is well written and well researched.

Being a journalist, with the power to make a very sensational publication on the event, the author seems to have successfully steered away from that temptation and maintains a dispassionate (yet considerate) tone to the story. While the writing is very factual and unfolds in chronological order, it remains gentle in describing the events, not lending a bias to any characters one way or another and not really aiming to shock the reader with grim descriptions.

What I liked about it was that the author doesn’t dwell too much on the crime but focuses on the events that led to it and how the dynamics of a country can greatly affect the progress of solving a crime like this one. Just like the reader would, the author is also digging deeper and trying to rationalise why a person would commit such a crime. Rather than place a quick conclusion on mental / psychological imbalances, there is an attempt to explore the backstory of the person to gain some perspective that might make this more palatable….

Different people process grief differently and this comes through very well when one reads about Lucie’s parents and their diametrically opposite actions / reactions and conduct to her disappearance and death. In the end, losing a loved one to such violence alters the lives of those left behind so drastically and enduringly, and while the legal process may finally bring them “justice” and respite in the sense of it, it never can or will make up for that loss as expected, even though the families hang on to it like the last thread of hope.

This is a sad story of an unfortunate series of events and a tragedy waiting to happen, which may have been avoided had the law and order system been more sensitive to the signs and very direct leads they received long before this happened. But it is also a very interesting insight into a parallel world that most of us live such insulated and ignorant lives from.

6 American Horror Story: The Cecil Hotel #Longform

It started out as a routine missing persons case. But by the time the internet was done with her, Elisa Lam had become a macabre celebrity, a conspiracy magnet—and the inspiration for a TV series.

This story had me thinking about it for several days, so I can understand the internet frenzy it created around the mysterious circumstances that Elisa Lam disappeared under; and the inexplicable recorded piece of evidence that is eerie, disturbing and mystifying all at once.

7 The Outcast #Longform

For almost twenty years, Greg Torti has lived the life of a convicted sex offender: monitored by the authorities, unable to go near schools or parks, forced to make his home on the outskirts of a tiny town. It’s exactly the kind of miserable life a pervert deserves, he would tell you—if he were one.

A #mustread story about how one incident changed a man’s life and the heavy price he continues to pay for it. Even if he wasn’t guilty as charged. Reading this story made me realize how most of us live blessed lives, and how the complexities that overwhelm us are so insignificant in comparison to what some people face.

A quote that stayed with me,

“Everybody gets dealt a hand in life, and it’s not always a fair one”.

8 Lost Girls #Longform

Women, sex, and the Arab Spring

Another great article from Morocco, telling us Meriem’s story, who became a prostitute because she lost her virginity – because in Morocco it is still culturally and socially imperative that a woman be a virgin before marriage. Many marriage contracts include a clause stipulating that the bride produce a certificate of virginity before the wedding can take place. A falsified certificate is grounds for divorce.

An excerpt from the article:

“I received frequent unsolicited advice on how not to be confused for a prostitute. The lessons were delivered so often that I came to see the issue as a national obsession.

If you smoke cigarettes in public, people will think you are a prostitute. Do not put lipstick on in public, not even lip balm. Don’t put anything on your face in public at all. Don’t overly wax your eyebrows — you can have them waxed, but not too waxed. See? Don’t sit on the ground. Don’t spread your legs even a tiny bit while sitting and especially not while sitting on the ground. Don’t chew gum in a solicitous manner. Don’t chew gum at all. Don’t go to nightclubs. Don’t go to bars. Don’t go to cafés. If you must go to cafés, at least go to the right kind, and go with a girlfriend, never a man. Never be seen alone with a man, never, not anywhere. Don’t wear anything that shows your knees. Don’t show your feet, don’t show your upper arms, don’t wear red. Don’t walk alone after the sun has gone down. Never go out alone, and especially not at night — I mean, you can do whatever you want, you’re a foreigner, but not even prostitutes go out alone at night.”

9 They Burn Witches Here #Longform

And then they upload the photos to social media. A journey to an island caught between the ancient world and 2015.

A cringe worthy account of the reality of our times.

10 Memoirs of a Revolutionary’s Daughter #Longform

A daughter reconstructs the events that led to the execution of her father under the new Islamic Regime in Iran in 1983.

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2016 TBR Book List – Indian History

Following an extremely interesting discussion on Indian history, I realised there was much more to know about what happened, when it happened and most importantly why. In today’s day and age,  when one has all the resources to inform oneself on historical facts, I don’t see why we mustn’t be well informed – after all, our history defines our present, shaping thoughts, opinions and decisions. So to avoid developing my own version of history and instead to develop a history’s version of history, I’ve resolved to read the following books in the next few months. Its a 2016 resolution come early! and I’m raring to get started.

In no particular order, here’s my list. Being someone who is as much a hoarder as a reader, I happen to have all of these in paperback, hardback or ebook formats 🙂

  1. The Last Mughal – William Dalrymple
  2. White Mughals  – William Dalrymple
  3. India After Gandhi – Ramachandra Guha 
  4. Delhi: A Novel – Khushwant Singh
  5. The Blood Telegram – Gary J Bass
  6. Indira Gandhi, the Emergency and Indian Democracy – PN DHar
  7. The History of the Sikhs – Khushwant Singh

I guess there’s nothing left to do but read.


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City of Djinns : Enchanting Delhi :)

City of Djinns: A Year in DelhiCity of Djinns: A Year in Delhi by William Dalrymple

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an absolutely enchanting introduction to Delhi – the city I have spent close to 6 years in and I now know of the layers of history that lie silently, waiting to be rediscovered and revisited.

The book comes to me at a time when I couldn’t have appreciated it more. Also a chance to see most of it come alive as I explore the ruins, relics and realms that it has to offer.
Even though the book was written 20 years ago – a lot from it remains relevant and thankfully existent to this day.
So many facts, places and events that one had not even heard of came to light – many of them important in shaping the future of the Delhis that came and went.

Spanning across ancient Delhi, medieval Delhi, to Mughal Delhi, British Delhi and Modern Delhi – the book is a mysterious delight of intertwining stories, instances and explorations – that made me feel like I was there with Mr Dalrymple listening to all the people who shared its secrets and forgotten tales. Though it is the unsystematic storytelling that makes the book such a great read.
Why aren’t history books written like this?? I would certainly have taken up being a historian as a profession.

Lucky to be living in the “google” age – I left nothing that could be encountered, experienced or visited virtually.
I know that I will look at Delhi in a different light after this book and it will always have a certain something that needs to be explored. The explorations are already underway 🙂

A must read for anyone who has lived here and everyone who hasn’t!

Update: Two weeks after I had finished reading the book, I happened to take on a photography assignment for a travel company. They wanted me to cover Delhi and take pictures of places that were historically significant / interesting but not the usual tourist spots. When I saw the list of sites they wanted covered I couldn’t believe my luck. Almost every site on the list was something I had read about in the City Of Djinns.

From the Mutiny Memorial in the ridge area to St. James Church in Kashmere Gate to the Ashoka Pillar in Feroz Shah Kotla and Bahadur Shah Zafar’s abandoned ‘haveli’ in Mehrauli… visiting these sites in person filled me with awe and wonder, I don’t think I would have had a better chance to re-experience the history I read in the book.

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