Book Box | Stories from India’s margins
Five books that unveil India's borderlands and their hidden tales. From arid deserts to lush coasts, here's a rich tapestry of cultures and human resilience.
I am in the Hindustani Prachar Sabha Library in Mumbai. It is a rainy afternoon, and I am browsing through a quaint collection of books. Inside carefully stored in glass-enclosed bookshelves, is a treasure trove of old manuscripts – some from the 1500s, translations of the Upanishads, beautiful folios of calligraphic art with gold paint.
But what takes my breath away, are the newspapers – sepia-coloured newsprint sheets bound in volumes. They have political columns and advertisements that exhort Indians to give up using imported cloth and use swadeshi instead. Everywhere is a fierce patriotism ablaze with the fire of idealism.
I decide to turn to geography to mark the celebrations of India's 77th Independence Day next week, scouring my collection of recent reads to pick up five books. Each of these five traverses India's margin lands, telling little-known stories of India's borders and of the forgotten lands in between.
Book 1 of 5
Book 2 of 5
Book 3 of 5
Book 4 of 5
Book 5 of 5
That’s all for this week. And if you are taking time off, and travelling over the Independence Day holidays, and looking for more reading, here are five fast-paced books for your airplane reads.
Until next week, Happy Reading.
Sonya Dutta Choudhury is a Mumbai-based journalist and the founder of Sonya’s Book Box, a bespoke book service. Each week, she brings you specially curated books to give you an immersive understanding of people and places. If you have any reading recommendations or suggestions, write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed are personal