Okay, I am an Indian but I seldom read books by Indian authors, which is something I’d like to change. So, I’d like to share five Indian books on my TBR.
- Leila by Prayaag Akbar
In a digitized city, sometime in the near future, as an obsession with purity escalates, walls come up dividing and confining communities. Behind the walls high civic order prevails. In the forgotten spaces between, where garbage gathers and disease festers, Shalini must search for Leila, the daughter she lost one tragic summer sixteen years ago. Skirting surveillance systems and thuggish Repeaters, Shalini—once wealthy, with perhaps a wayward past; now a misfit, pushed to the margins—is propelled only by her search. What follows is a story of longing, faith, and most of all, loss. With its unflinching gaze on class, privilege, and the choices that today confront us—and its startling, almost prophetic vision of the world—Leila announces Prayaag Akbar as a remarkable new voice in Indian fiction.
I’ve never read an Indian dystopian before, and this sounds really interesting.
When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Meera Kandasamy
Seduced by politics and poetry, the unnamed narrator falls in love with a university professor and agrees to be his wife, but what for her is a contract of love is for him a contract of ownership. As he sets about reducing her to his idealised version of a kept woman, bullying her out of her life as an academic and writer in the process, she attempts to push back – a resistance he resolves to break with violence and rape. Smart, fierce and courageous When I Hit You is a dissection of what love meant, means and will come to mean when trust is undermined by violence; a brilliant, throat-tightening feminist discourse on battered faces and bruised male egos; and a scathing portrait of traditional wedlock in modern India.
This sounds like a really raw, unflinching account of domestic violence, and I really want to read this to gain a better understanding of an issue which so many people go through.
Cobalt Blue by Sachin Kundalkar
This is the story of a brother and sister who fall in love with the same man, and how the ensuing events affect a traditional Marathi family. I am not quoting the goodreads blurb here as it tells very little about the book, it only talks about the author. However the premise sounds really interesting and I really want to read it.
More than just Biriyani by Andaleeb Wajeed
The culinary journey of three women who followed their hearts…
When Sonia Kapoor, a journalist working in a Hong Kong food magazine befriends Zubi, a shy Indian woman living in Hong Kong with her husband and child, she hopes to peel away the layers of fascinating stories about Zubi’s connection with food. Hesitant at first, Zubi slowly opens up to Sonia, taking her to the Bangalore of her childhood and her mother’s simply cooked home food. Life lessons are learnt with the help of familiar dishes and Sonia realises that there’s more to Zubi and Muslim food than just their love for biryani.
At its heart, More Than Just Biryani is a story of understanding needs, discovering identities, overcoming fears and above all, embracing love.
Through the life stories of three women from three generations, the novel shows how food plays a significant role in shaping the lives and characters of each of these women.
In the process, it also gives out quite a bit of the recipes for delicious Muslim dishes such as kaali mirch ki phaal, lauz, etc.
I love inter-generational sagas and I love food, so this was kind of like a no-brainer for me. I had also read and enjoyed one of Andaleeb Wajid’s other books, My Brother’s Wedding.
Baaz by Anuja Chauhan
1971. The USSR-backed India-Mukti Bahini alliance is on the brink of war against the America-aided Pakistani forces. As the Cold War threatens to turn red hot, handsome, laughing Ishaan Faujdaar, a farm boy from Chakkahera, Haryana, is elated to be in the IAF, flying the Gnat, a tiny fighter plane nicknamed ‘Sabre Slayer’ for the devastation it has wrecked in the ranks of Pakistan’s F-86 Sabre Squadrons.
Flanked by his buddies Raks, a MiG-21 Fighter, Maddy, a transport pilot who flies a Caribou and fellow Gnatties Jana, Gana and Mana, Shaanu has nothing on his mind but glory and adventure – until he encounters Tehmina Dadyseth, famed bathing beauty and sister of a dead fauji, who makes him question the very concept of nationalism and whose eyes fill with disillusioned scorn whenever people wax eloquent about patriotism and war…
Pulsating with love, laughter and courage, Baaz is Anuja Chauhan’s tribute to our men in uniform
Anuja Chauhan is actually a quite popular author in India, however I’ve never really read any of her books. However this looks really interesting and I’ve heard great things about it.