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Maharaja in Denims by Khushwant Singh


“Though the history depends on how historians, biographers and people view it, it still is, to quite an extent,unchangeable”- Maharaja in Denims
Khushwant Singh- the name so well known, that any book written by him is much sought after.
So basically, it was the name that drew me to the ‘Turbaned Tornado’, an inspiring biography of the iconic 100 year-old Fauja Singh, marathon runner. And that’s when I realised there was another Khushwant Singh. Chandigarh based Khushwant Singh, itinerant writer, columnist and TV show host is also well known to the Indian Literati.He is the author of best-selling Sikhs Unlimited, a travelogue from UK to USA featuring extraordinary Sikhs and Turbaned Tornado, biography of Fauja Singh, the world’s oldest marathon runner.His Sunday column, ‘Punjabi by Nature’ in The Hindustan Times on the passions, problems and idiosyncracies of the region, is widely read. Khushwant Singh has also written for the Times of India, The Tribune, BBC Online and India Today.
‘Maharaja in Denims’ a historical fiction, is a tale of Hari Singh Sandhu, who believes himself to be a reincarnation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Set in modern day Chandigarh, the narrative describes the Punjabi way of life to the tee- fast cars, money, partying and basically living life king size. Hari has everything a nineteen year old could want and lives life on his own terms. When flashes from the past start interfering with his present life, his girlfriend Suzanne takes it upon herself to help him. Past life regression brings forth Hari’s turbulent past in not just one, but other lives too. The history of Punjab over the centuries acts as a backdrop for the traumatic experiences that Hari had been subjected to.
The research is impeccable and the author very deftly weaves a tale of reincarnation, while effectively highlighting the woes of present day Punjab. Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s reign, which was also known as The Golden Era of Punjab is described beautifully and parallels are drawn to help the reader understand the causes for the degradation of the mighty Punjab. The Maharaja’s love life, zeal and conquests, all add spice to the story of Hari Singh.
The intensely dramatic narrative flows fast and keeps the reader intrigued till the very end. The unexpected twist towards the end surprises, pains and yet keeps alive a small flicker of hope.
A must read for all who enjoy historical fiction and are fascinated by stories of reincarnation.


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This entry was posted on April 10, 2015 by in Book Reviews, Fiction, Historical and tagged , , .
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