60 “Best” Books from India

To celebrate the Indian Independence day, Hindustan Times has published a rather interesting list of 60 best books from India. From the list, my favourites are:

Aag Ka Dariya: Qurratulain Hyder generation was divided by Partition. But she refused to make an irrevocable choice and instead found home in both India and Pakistan. In this magnum opus spanning centuries, she narrates the tragedy of being forced into such a choice.

Train to Pakistan: in a far cry from his usual lighthearted and witty style, Khushwant Singh somberly etches out the agony of a village brutally torn apart at independence.

Rasidi Ticket: this autobiography of the popular Punjabi poetess Amrita Pritam created controversy when it came out, which was predictable given her unconventional life lived very much in the public eye.

English August: Upamanyu Chatterjee fresh and quirky take on the dilemmas of a young civil servant who finds himself ill at ease in small town India.

God of Small Things: mix a fractured family from southern India and a gifted author. Result: a Booker-winning gem from Arundhati Roy.

Golden Gate: 690 wonderful sonnets describing the life, love and times of San Franciscos young professionals by Vikram Seth.

Tamas: this powerful Bhisham Sahni novel captured the country’s imagination when Govind Nihalini turned it into an equally forceful telefilm. Sahni drew upon his experiences as a relief worker during Partition to write this anti-communalist saga.

Terhi Lakeer: Ismat Chugtais magnum opus centres on the rebellious affirmation of female desire: A woman heart has so many chambers, a mother love residing in one, love for her husband in another, for her beloved in a third. Then Shaman tried to peep into her own heart.

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