Tag Archive > Delhi

Literary Trip to Delhi

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I first discovered the joys of reading books about a city whilst in situ when I sat in a hotel room in Mumbai with two books in front of me – a local guidebook and Leslie Forbes’ great thriller “Bombay Ice“. Without question I learned a lot more about the city from the novel than I ever could have done from the guidebook. Ever since that time I’ve tried to find books about the cities I love – and top of that list, the place I return to time and time again is Delhi.

Bahai Lotus Temple, DelhiThe must-read novel for anyone interested in this city is “Delhi: A Novel” by the great Indian writer Khushwant Singh. It’s definitely one for the less prudish reader as it gets a bit racy by Indian standards and you could be forgiven for thinking that his hero, another Mr Singh, appears to sleep with just about everyone he meets.

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Love me, Love my Entire Extended Family

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Home by Manju KapurIn a past job I used to visit India several times a year for work and I got to know some of my local colleagues quite well. We understood each other on most things but there was a colossal culture gap in one area of our lives; our views and experience of marriage and family were totally alien to each other. We could talk for days but for me to get my head around the idea of arranged marriage and living in an extended family was every bit as difficult as them trying to understand how I could have married someone my parents didn’t know or approve of and then live a life pretty much separated from both our families. As for my husband and I not wanting children, that was just too much for anyone to get their heads round. I couldn’t understand the very Indian concept that you marry a stranger and ‘love will come’ and I struggled to see past my Western ideas of romance and passion.

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