by Sarnath Banerjee
About the book: In the heart of Lutyens' Delhi sits Jehangir Rangoonwalla, enlightened dispenser of tea, wisdom, and second-hand books. Among his customers are Brighu, a postmodern Ibn Batuta looking for obscure collectibles and a love life; Digital Dutta who lives mostly in his head, torn between Karl Marx and an H1-B visa; and the newly-married Shintu, looking for the ultimate aphrodisiac in the seedy by-lanes of old Delhi. Played out in the corridors of Connaught Place and Calcutta, the story captures the alienation and fragmented reality of urban life through an imaginative alchemy of text and image.
by Khushwant Singh
About the book: Travelling through time, space and history to 'discover' his beloved city, the narrator of this novel meets a myriad of people - poets and princes, saints and sultans, temptresses and traitors, emperors and eunuchs - who have shaped and endowed Delhi with its very mystique.
by Sam Miller
About the book: Presents a portrait of Delhi as viewed by everyday residents from all walks of life, describing the city's diversities and offering insight into its cultural significance and modern potential.
by David Prager
About the book: When the Big Apple no longer felt big enough, Dave Prager and his wife, Jenny, moved to a city of sixteen million people—with seemingly twice as many honking horns. Living and working in Delhi, the couple wrote about their travails and discoveries on their popular blog Our Delhi Struggle. This book, all new, is Dave’s top-to-bottom account of a megacity he describes as simultaneously ecstatic, hallucinatory, feverish, and hugely energizing. Weaving together useful observations and hilarious anecdotes, he covers what you need to know to enjoy the city and discover its splendors: its sprawling layout,some favorite sites, the food, the markets, and the challenges of living in or visiting a city that presents every human extreme at once. Among his revelations: secrets that every Delhiite knows, including the key phrase for successfully negotiating with any shopkeeper; the most fascinating neighborhoods, and the trendiest; the realities behind common stereotypes; tips for enjoying street food and finding hidden restaurants, as well as navigating the transportation system; and the nuances of gestures like the famous Indian head bobble. Delirious Delhi is at once tribute to a great world city and an invitation to explore. Read it, and you’ll want to book the next flight!
by Raza Rumi
About the book: A sensitively written account of a Pakistani writer's discovery of Delhi Why, asks Raza Rumi, does the capital of another country feel like home? How is it that a man from Pakistan can cross the border into 'hostile' territory and yet not feel 'foreign'? Is it the geography, the architecture, the food? Or is it the streets, the festivals and the colours of the subcontinent, so familiar and yes, beloved... As he takes in the sights, from the Sufi shrines in the south to the markets of Old Delhi, from Lutyens' stately mansions to Ghalib's crumbling abode, Raza uncovers the many layers of the city. He connects with the richness of the Urdu language, observes the syncretic evolution of mystical Islam in India and its deep connections with Hindustani classical music - so much a part of his own selfhood. And every so often, he returns to the refuge of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, the twelfth-century pir, whose dargah still reverberates with music and prayer every evening. His wanderings through Delhi lead Raza back in time to recollections of a long-forgotten Hindu ancestry and to comparisons with his own city of Lahore - in many ways a mirror image of Delhi. They also lead to reflections on the nature of the modern city, the inherent conflict between the native and the immigrant and, inevitably, to an inquiry into his own identity as a South Asian Muslim. Rich with history and anecdote, and conversations with Dilliwalas known and unknown,Delhi By Heart offers an unusual perspective and unexpected insights into the political and cultural capital of India.
by Aravind Adiga
About the book: When he relocates to New Delhi to take a new job, Balram Halwai is disillusioned by the city's materialism and technology-spawned violence, a circumstance that forces him to question his loyalties, ambitions, and past.
by Mayank Austen Soofi
About the book: The sex workers of Kotha no. 300 raise their children, cook for their lovers, visti temples, shrines and mosques, complain about pimps and kotha owners, listen to film songs, and solicit and entertain customers. By following the daily lives of the denizens of one kotha, Mayank Austen Soofi paints an intimate portrait of women for whom sex is work - a way to make a living. With precise details and haunting photographs, Soofi delicately and carefully etches the everyday world of those who inhabit the peripheries of society.
by Nayantara Sahgal
About the book: &Lsquo;She Missed The Sense Of Values Shivraj Had Planted Like Roses With His Two Hands. It Was Their Fragrance, Something As Ephemeral As That, That Had Bound The Country Together In A Unity, Not Any Hidebound Principle Or Rule From A Book.&Rsquo; Shivraj Is Dead And With Him The Values With Which He Had Governed The Country For Over A Decade. While His Successors Destroy The Idealistic World He Had Built, Shivraj&Rsquo;S Circle Of Intimate Friends&Mdash;His Sister Devi, The Education Minister; Usman Ali, Vice Chancellor Of Delhi University; And Michael Calvert, An English Writer&Mdash;Struggle To Find Order In The Chaos, Even As Rishad, Devi&Rsquo;S Son, Loses Himself In It. Juxtaposing The Conflict Of Personal Relationships With The Larger Canvas Of Corrupt Politics In A Situation In New Delhi, Nayantara Sahgal Masterfully Weaves A Tale That Grips The Reader From Start To Finish. &Lsquo;A Brilliant And Provocative Piece Of Fact-Based Fiction&Rsquo;&Mdash;Financial Times &Lsquo;A Moving, Even Inspiring Novel&Rsquo;&Mdash;Sunday Times
by Khushwant Singh (Ed.)
About the book: ‘Delhi is the twin of pure paradise, a prototype of the heavenly throne on an earthlyscroll’—Amir Khusrau A city of contradictions, where ancient traditions and modern aspirations jostle for space, Delhi has often been compared to a phoenix rising from the ashes. Its three thousand years of eventful history have witnessed the rise and fall of several empires, a process that continues today. City Improbable brings together writings by immigrants, residents, refugees, travellers and invaders who have engaged with India’s capital over different epochs. Babur shares his earliest experience of the city and Amir Khusrau praises the fine lads of Delhi; Ibn Battuta and Niccolao Manucci record the glories and follies of prominent rulers; William Dalrymple and Khushwant Singh provide intriguing accounts of the threshold period that saw the coming of the British and the waning of the Mughals. Poets and storytellers—Meer Taqi Meer, Ghalib, Yashpal, Kamleshwar, Ruskin Bond—narrate their versions of the city. Contemporary Delhi is featured in a variety of vignettes: the bureaucracy, the Emergency, the anti-Sikh violence, lovers and joggers in Lodi Gardens, the city’s Sufi legacy as well as its changing cuisine. Among the new pieces in this expanded edition are Sam Miller’s account of his experiences in the suburb of Noida, Manto’s story about a girl from Delhi leaving the city during Partition, Jarnail Singh’s unflinching recollection of the massacre of Sikhs in 1984, a photo essay on Shahpur Jat by Karoki Lewis, and a composite narrative by the young writers of the Cybermohalla Collective about the making of a resettlement colony.