There is one ubiquitous question which is encountered by every avid reader and that is “Can you suggest some good books to read?” and we are bound to reply with a list of authors which are more foreigner than Indian. However, just recently, I thought why not venture more into the Indian writing style -which I did- and according to that “native” experience, I am going to suggest the top 10 works which I encountered in my voyage of a new thought.
This book has stories that revolve around the main characters Dina Dalal, Ishvar Darji, Omprakash Darji (Ishvar’s nephew), and Maneck Kohlah (a young student). A Fine Balance is about the life of these characters from the events of Independence in 1947 to the period of emergency in 1975, called by the then Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi, and till 1984. The book has won the 1995 Giller Prize, plus it was even shortlisted for the Booker Prize in the year 1996. It majorly focuses on the changes that the citizens and the country had to face during the time of independence and the emergency.
Ruskin Bond’s magic is at it again. The story of Blue Umbrella has the essence of humor spread across every single page of this novella. The story is based out of the hills of Garhwal and has a subtle touch of the easiest words in the English dictionary with a witty string of thought. It has some ordinary yet magical characters who become heroic and others who struggle to become one, along with their lives in a village.
Regarded as one of the longest-running novels, A Suitable Boy covers the story of four families dispersed around the lifespan of over 18 months. A Suitable Story is a story that takes a reader on a journey of numerous exciting change of events and the mindset of the old by a simple struggle of a family searching for a “suitable boy” for their daughter. Another novel in the series called “A Suitable Girl” was due in 2017 but has not yet been released. It is expected to run as long as A Suitable Boy.
Maximum City is a book that takes you on a journey of exploring the stunning metropolis Bombay from an unexpected point of view. Through his book, Suketu Mehta guides you through the nest of the underworld in Bombay, rivalries between Hindu and Muslims, a story of a bar dancer whose childhood befriended abuse and poverty. In Maximum City, he even talks about Bollywood and the unheard stories about the people living on the sidewalks of Bombay.
This book tells the tale of Mahabharata from the viewpoint of Draupadi -the wife of the five Pandavas, the Panchaali. The Palace Of Illusions, written by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, focuses on bringing forward the life of a woman living, breathing in a patriarchal world.
Yet another rendition of the Mahabharata. The Great Indian Novel is written by Shashi Tharoor and in this story, he has not played a lot with the context of the epic Hindu Mythology; on the contrary, he has changed the characters and the event in such a way that it matches the Indian Independence Movement plus the following three decades after independence. The Great India Novel is filled with satires which can cling you to the story until the very end.
The God Of Small Things written by Arundhati Roy has won the Booker Prize Award of the year 1997. The story in this book revolves around the childhood events and experiences faced by fraternal twins who have complications in their lives due to the love laws that perfectly lays down who should be loved and how. And how much. The book also tells you how essential small things in life are and how much they affect a person’s behavior and their life.
This is a book written by R. K. Narayan and just like any other work of his, The Guide is based on the fictional town of Malgudi in South India. The story encased in this book is of Raju who is a tour guide in this town. R. K. Narayan interestingly tells the journey of Raju from being a simple tour guide to becoming one of the greatest holy men of India.
Train To Pakistan is a historical novel that depicts the events of Partition of India in August 1947. With the magic of the words of Khushwant Singh you will not only be swimming the shallow side of the politics around partition but also, you will majorly be diving in the human dimension of partition. All the bloodshed, the reality, the horror, that compels you to hold your breath until this horror beyond believability is brought to an end.
The White Tiger is a debut novel by Aravind Adiga and it was published in the year 2008 and that same year it won the 40th Man Booker Prize award plus it became a New York Times Bestseller. This novel makes us see the world through the eyes of Balram Halwai, a village boy. The White Tiger provides a darkly humorous perspective of the struggle of India’s class. Also, it examines several other issues including religion, caste, loyalty, corruption, and poverty in India.