We celebrate our 75th Independence Day in India today! It is indeed a joyous occasion and the mere thought fills me with goosebumps.
In the spirit of the blog, I’d like to share a few books that are based on or around the time of independence.
Set in the years just preceding independence, this is probably the most famous book on my list. It is centered around four families that are all related in some way, but its focus remains on the Mehra family, (that’s not the reason I like it though!) and especially on finding a groom for the marriage-aged Lata. At close to 1500 pages, its not a stretch to call this book a literal tome, a heavy volume if you’ve ever read one. I am glad that over the course of one summer vacation I read it from cover to cover and finished the entire thing. I loved reading it, I still own the same copy and dip into it occasionally to savour the most beautiful sentences ever written. Its like sipping a fine wine.
A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
I read this classic way back in my teens, and watched the movie based on it as well. I haven’t heard the movie spoken about as much, but it did justice to the book. When I grew older, I went back and re-read it to understand the nuances better. A fine book and movie that I’d highly recommend.
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
I’ve blogged about this mystery novel before. The protagonist is Perveen Mistry, who studies to become the first female lawyer of India. I found it somewhat light on the mystery aspect, but heavy on atmosphere. It paints a wonderful picture of Mumbai in the 1920s and 30s, capturing the culture and tradition of those times. The entire Perveen Mistry series by this author is worth reading.
My Experiments with Truth: An Autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi
This is another book I read in my teens. I found it fascinating and I own a copy of it even now. Though not exactly focused on India’s Independence, it is a great read for people looking to understand the mindset of Mahatma Gandhi. His childhood, his travails in South Africa and his life then onward are written in a simple enough style that will keep the reader hooked.
Do you have any recommendations for books centered around India’s independence? Let me know in the comments!
A Suitable Boy was such an amazing book I finished in 2 weeks and add Midnight’s Children such a good book. I have quite a list and now you prodding me to share my list of books. I read my Experiments with Truth and will put your suggestions in my TBR, Gargi. Happy Independence Day:)
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