Delhi: A novel, by Khushwant Singh Review


Delhi is quintessentially Khushwant Singh, The grand-old man of India. Delhi is a novel that quite surprised and delighted me, particularly the narration. The story of Delhi, from Sultanate days to 1984 Anti-Sikh riots has been told from the viewpoints of the important characters involved. The narration is its best part that is so exquisite that one almost feels the events taking place in front of his eyes. I specially liked the Chapters ofMussadi LalThe Untouchables Aurangzeb Alamgirand Meer Taqi Meer . It touches quite an emotional chord as one almost feels the live presence of the revered Nizamuddin Auliya, understands the bigotry of Aurangzeb,feels the helplessness of Meer Taqi Meer, the determination of Jaita Rangretta and Lakhi Rai to save the honour of their Guru, honesty of Ram Rakha and the fate of Bahadur Shah, the last Mughal Emperor. Of course as for humour or whatever one can say, there is a lot of explicit  content, which may not appeal to tastes of many. But this what Khushwant Singh is best at and known for. One needs a bit of patience and maturity for this part. But nevertheless, he finely captures the emotions, thinking and nature of an ordinary Delhiwallah. Before reading this novel, I never knew that my city has such a beautiful but most often such a bloody history. I have been to most of the places described in the book but never saw them with such a historical perspective. Being born in Delhi, I now feel quite a connectedness with its past. I was never so proud of my city as much as I am now. . 🙂

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