Delhi❴Reading❵ ➼ Delhi Author Khushwant Singh – Narratore dell'opera una vera e propria saga che si estende per circa seicento anni è un vecchio sporcaccione che ama Delhi come ama la sua hijda la sua prostituta preferita Bhagmati metà uomo metà Narratore dell'opera una vera e propria saga che si estende per circa seicento anni è un vecchio sporcaccione che ama Delhi come ama la sua hijda la sua prostituta preferita Bhagmati metà uomo metà donna con l'energia e la creatività di entrambi i sessi Viaggiando attraverso il tempo lo spazio e la storia per riscoprire la sua amata città il narratore si imbatte in una miriade di personaggi che hanno fatto di Delhi il luogo mistico che essa è Un viaggio epico in cui la città dell'Impero viene consegnata per sempre all'immortalità della letteratura. The preface declares the injecting of a lot of seminal fluid into the book guaranteeing you the dirty old man his sobriuet experience so what's not to like? Through it you witness the 600 years of history that has shaped this city covering Mughals War of 1857 1984 Sikh pogrom Untouchables Timurids Hazrat Nizamuddin and some sualid some divine His candid sentimental and unapologetic outpourings reach orgasmic heights in the chapters devoted to the uncouth rude pock marked common sex worker and transvestite Bhagmati an allegory to his love for Delhi which withstands his occasional whoring of foreign shores Delhi is a lot like Bhagmati she has been with many men devotedly loved those who loved her yet she has the ability to spit them out like bloody betel juice when the urge overtakes her And she is ugly like Bhagmati her manners boorish her speech cluttered with abuse her appearance that of a sly blood sucking vermin But if you love her wholeheartedly without reservation if you look past the boorishness into the domes of the ancient city the complete heart of it and all that candourish jazz suddenly the skies are blue the earth lush with the smell of fresh rain the air humming with the music from dargahs the heart swimming in light fancy and abruptly Bhagmati ceases to be a sualid eunuch she is a genteel goddess a woman with unrestrained desires but most importantly she desires you Khushwant Singh confesses that he makes both Bhagmati and Delhi sound very mysterious for he too is confused by this love hate relationship but he lives with it and swimmingly too It is a simple formula he writes use your heart not your head your emotion not your reason Delhi is a wonderful book Right at the start the narrative voice tells us that Delhi is a vulgar loud dangerous and damaged city but once one knows Delhi intimately it reveals its charms its seductions Every stone of this city tells a story The city is an archeologist's delight because it has so much to offer Delhi has repeatedly been destroyed and rebuilt throughout its recorded historyIn this book the body of Delhi is compared with the body of a 'Hijra' transgender named 'Bhagmati' Just like the city of Delhi Bhagamati is loud and unattractive But once one knows her her strange smell her body's ueerness the bitter sweet taste of her 'paan' soaked mouth one is trapped forever One becomes addicted to her The narrator after having lived abroad comes back to live in his native city Delhi He embraces the city with all its filth its hidden charms Being upper middle class the narrator can flirt with women; he prefers a 'Hijra' He is bewitched by herTheir regular meetings with each other fulfill their life in different ways We get to know of contemporary Delhi and its medieval history in enchanting prose After almost every second chapter the readers find themselves in Delhi of the 1980s In between we get a glimpse of Delhi's past its prominent rulers its fall and riseAnybody who is interested in Delhi's history will find this book engrossing Although the book was first published almost three decades ago there is a lot in it that still holds true for Delhi I was annoyed from the first to the last page The premise was very interesting Delhi's history from the Mughal Empire 1526 to the murder of Indira Gandhi 1984 Chapters alternate from present time in which we read above all about useless sex scenes among the main character and a hijra prostitute to ancient time where the past revives thanks to the first person narration of different charactersI couldn't understand which was the fictional part and which were real historical events it was too confusing I also couldn't understand how much of Singh's personal opinions have been added to the story Perhaps people who know every single event of the Mughal Empire will enjoy much this book; I also didn't learn something new about Indian history because the whole story was too confusing and there were many useless parts like the chapters dedicated to present time It seems to me that the author gave too much importance to sex scenes and the bloody massacres among Muslims Hindus and Sikhs talking about them in a too detailed way It was as if these parts were important than the historical events After a while I had a feeling of mental discomfort reading about all this gory killing because it seemed that all these people were taking pleasure in killing It was as if the author disliked all Indians regardless of their religion and depicted them as bloody killers I have read a few historical fiction and I usually like them but in my opinion Singh failed and it's a pity because I have read and liked Train to Pakistan It could have been much better if the reader would have been able to discern among real historical events and fictional parts and if we could understand which parts were the author's personal opinions; but perhaps it's only my fault because I don't know a lot about the Mughal EmpireMi sono annoiata dalla prima all'ultima pagina La premessa sembrava molto interessante la storia di Delhi dall'Impero Moghul ca 1500 fino all'uccisione di Indira Gandhi 1984 Si alternano capitoli dedicati al presente in cui si parla solo di sesso tra il personaggio principale e una prostituta ermafrodita a capitoli in cui si fa rinascere il passato attraverso la narrazione in prima persona di diversi personaggi Non si capisce cosa di ciò che viene raccontato appartiene alla realtà storica e uali parti sono solo finzione o considerazioni personali dello scrittore Forse chi conosce per filo e per segno tutti gli imperatori Moghul e la storia del loro impero sarà capace di apprezzare uesto tomo di uasi 500 pagine Non mi è rimasto assolutamente nulla di uesto libro tranne una sensazione di noia e di fastidio dovuta non solo al fatto che non si riesce a discernere tra realtà e finzione ma anche perché lo scrittore sembra dare più importanza ai sanguinosi massacri tra musulmani indù e sikh descrivendoli minuziosamente piuttosto che agli eventi storici rilevanti a lot of sex a lot of it and a lot of death even death than sex after a while the massacres began to bleed into each other just one slaughter followed by another i'm not faulting Singh for this at least not yet because i haven't done enough historical readings on Delhi to be able to contextualise his fiction because it does seem as though he's just plotting out the city's bloody history so if it seems like it's an excessively macabre novel it's because that's what the city wasis? this may explain the suddenness of the ending there is no clean ending no closure no hope for peace; it's just what it isor at least that's what i think Singh was aiming forspeaking of sudden endings i thought the end of Ram Rakha's chapter was also jarring i realise the sudden shift in perspective was supposed to be surprising but it felt almost entirely unlocated as though Singh had just thrown those two paragraphs in at the last minute with no buildup however subtle before thenit was interesting as well to read the narrative through the points of view of murdererssoldiers as well as victims it makes claiming a certain kind of moral high ground difficult because you're forced to sympathise if only because you're willingly listen to their stories with people who commit mass murders and rapes of children as well as adults so yeah no easy answers here just an unsettling sense of grief because the violence begins to feel inevitable but i don't think Singh was aiming to create apathy in his readers; it's just that the moments of hope that do occasionally emerge are always followed by crushing violencestylistically it was written well enough no memorable flights of rhetoric unless you count the sex passages? This book kept me up for several nights I never fell asleep while reading the book but the exhaustion I felt after reading about the bloody massacres that have dotted the pages of Indian history was tremendous This is an extremely powerful book From the invasion of Taimur to the Anti Sikh riots to the personal accounts of the journey of the narrator which is interspersed in the book to provide respite from the heavy heat one feels after reading about the mostly bloody and accursed history of Delhi nothing could have been written better Every Indian must read the book to understand the frivolity of anger and passion roused by religion hedonism and dogmatism Khushwant Singh tells the story of Delhi through 600 years through the eyes of people who witnessed it taking shape the raconteurs being people of conseuence and sometimes just ordinary citizens The connection he generates between the present and the past is nuanced and substantial; no wonder it took the author 25 years to write it I was amused and tickled by the use of phrases like haw haw Oxbridge and my morbid obsession with death and loved most of the poetry in the accounts of history I am glad I read the book after I had stayed in Delhi for 6 months It multiplied my understanding and pleasure by several times This was so horrendously bad that I had forgotten all about having read this book I guess my brain was trying to subconsciously suppress the memory of it However my brain being the way it is just as well randomly popped this book up at me on a Monday evening because that is the sort of thing my brain likes to do NOTHING about the book you might initially read see or hear about would remotely suggest the level of bad ness this book entails I read this on a recommendation of a friend's and since then I have been than wary with recommendations especially in instances where they involve vapid prose detailing badly written sex scenes as gimmicks As for the 'historical fiction' angle forget about it You'd be better off with 'Let's Learn Numbers' or 'My First Book of Alphabet' to get better enlightenment instead Delhi History in the Garb of EroticaHistory in the garb of Erotica or is it the other way round? Would be an apt epithet for Delhi A Novel by Khushwant SinghSynopsis A lecherous historian cum writer is in a bad phase of his career that he takes a part time job as a tourist guide in Delhi As a guide he ensures a perennial supply of foreign memsahibs for himself with whom he has innumerable flings He takes these tourists and his hijda mistress around Delhi for sightseeing thus visiting various places of historical significance This narrative is interposed in alternate chapters with memoirs of personalities from the past – which includes the likes of Timur Nadir Shah Aurangzeb A devotee of the Sufi saint Nizamudeen Auliya A British era builder A Gandhi hater to name a few The whole book is laced with a thick veneer of sarcasm which makes it difficult to make out how much of it are genuine statements and how much of it are Deliberate 'Doosras' Through the memoirs of the bad guys of history he has gone so far as to condone sarcastically or not is moot their acts Aurungzeb justifying his fanaticism and hatred toward Dhara Shikoh Nadir Shah justifying massacres that he brought upon Delhi and through the words of a builder he claims the period of British rule in India her golden period and uite trenchantly remarks that Indians have done harm to India than the British He also goes ahead and states that had it been Germans French or Russians Gandhis and Nehrus would have been sent to gallows for longThe last but one chapter takes Gandhi giri head on He minces no words when he calls Gandhi a hypocrite As per an anti Gandhi character in the book Gandhi while fasting has a continuous supply of orange juice and he breaks his fast with a glass of orange juice or when he indicts RSS for propagating hatred against Musalmmans and Christians in the inchoate days of independence He is even indifferent when he implicitly slams his own community Sikhs for teaming up with the British during 1857 mutinieswhich apparently led to the uashing of the mutiny in DelhiTowards the end of the book circa 1984 it takes us through the Operation Bluestar Blunder of Indira Gandhi her assassination on account of that and then the dire repercussions that followed That leaves the book with an implicit statement of how India is anarchy prone how vicious is communalism and religious fanaticism and how baneful is political bigotry These factors leave the writer pensive and disturbed in the endWhat makes the book uniue according to me is that it positions itself against the popular version of history And it has to be given to the Old Man for his audacity in coming up with a book which speaks about the misfortunes inflicted upon Delhi throughout various phases in history not from the victim's but from the perpetrators' perspectives and to the level of justifying them – watch out for sarcasms One big negative of the book which I presume could have led to it being branded as dirty is its erotic content Not a single chapter passes by without an obnoxious dosage of carnal indulgences of its characters However the ‘Dirty Old Man’ can be excused for this as probably he was trying to sell history in the garb of erotica Rajeev A Nair 'The world is the body and Delhi its life' said Asadullah Khan Ghalib Delhi is still as intriguing as ever so old and yet so new holding within its folds history politics love violence religion destruction and countless other emotions and stories 'The city of dginns' by William Dalrimple helped stimulate my interest in this 'life of the world' and Khushwant Singh's ' Delhi' seemed to be an apt choiceI guess I was holding the wrong book for the wrong reasons It is only a birds eye view and a rather myopic bird's eye view of the ancient history of the city hasty superficial and generalThe chapters on Bhagmati are absolutely redundant and inessential Imagine a chapter on 'farts' it is not even funny I thought I could easily ignore the obnoxious stuff in Khushwant Singh's books and still like them for language frankness humour and content This one does have history but it is coated with a lot of his own imagination and injected with a lot of seminal fluid as he calls it One is often left wondering Did this really happen? But then one starts pondering on the title 'Delhi A Novel' I guess it was meant to be like thisThe author has been magnanimous and has tried to justify the actions of cruel tyrants and invaders who plundered looted and killed just to assert their power and supremacy by looking at history from their perspective It took him twenty five years to piece it together and has been written with an objective of getting people to know Delhi and love it I think William Dalrymple achieved the objective better Do give him a chance you may find something that i missed If one can tolerate the excessively elaborate accounts of the protagonist's sexual encounters the novel is a good read to understand Indian history in a different perspective Even if one is not familiar with the Indian History the novel still appeals due to its accurate detailing of the location and structure of the monuments of Delhi No the novel doesn't end at Red Fort and utub Minar The way KS describes the by lanes of Chandni Chowk during the reign of shah jahan or Paharganj when Aurangzeb took over or the area around Hazarat Nizamuddin in the times of Ghiasuddin Balban or the Connaught Circus of the early 90's gets etched on one' mind One characteristic feature of KS's writing other than the explicitly described female body forms is his style of making the natural surrounds weather trees birds and bees an integral part of the main plot is reflected here too If nothing else the novel has inspired me to explore Delhi beyond the regular 'Delhi Darshan' sights and go for nature walks in and around After I finished TRAIN TO PAKISTAN I never thought that I would read any other book by khushwant Singh not that i did not like it it was fine but i lost my interest in the writer somehow I am glad that i picked this one up A good read after all and the way the writer traces the history with emperors poets and soldiers narrating their tales from their own perspective People usually say that histories are written by rulers and the vanuished are always presented in a demeaning light but here the writer gives everyone a chance to speak up Where on one hand nadir shah defends himself by justifying the massacre that he committed on the soil of delhi then on the other side we have meer Tai meer who criticizes nadir shah for his brutal ways Khuswant Singh writes not as a Sikh but as an Indian like a delihite There were many fornication scenes though but then the writer himself says that he is not known for propriety then who the hell are we to raise uestions

Paperback  ¿ Delhi PDF/EPUB ¼
  • Paperback
  • 480 pages
  • Delhi
  • Khushwant Singh
  • Italian
  • 25 May 2016
  • 9788873057994