Saturday, 22 February 2014

Maharashtra - Reading List

I read quite a few books in relation to Maharashtra.  Here's a summary of what I read, with links to my blog posts, where relevant:

India: Insight Guides (2009 - 8th edition), ed. Tom Le Bas.  I find this series of guidebooks really informative and, as I didn't read more generally about India, when I was blogging about Rajasthan, I thought I would do that this time round, to give me a wider understanding of where Maharashtra sits in the bigger 'Indian' picture.  I feel inspired to visit India again and the Insight Guides has given me some ideas for potential future trips!

Bollywood: Gods, Glamour and Gossip (2013) by Kush Varia - part of Columbia University Press's 'Short Cuts' series for film studies students.  I've already mentioned this book, when I blogged about Bollywood movies, two weeks ago. 

Books I read as part of my research into Maharashtra
Yayati: A Classic Tale of Lust (1959) by VS Khandekar - a re-telling of an ancient Hindu tale, this is one of the most famous books written in Marathi language.  I posted my review of this book back in January. 

Such a Long Journey (1991) by Rohinton Mistry - a more modern take on life in Maharashtra, I really loved this novel and also reviewed it. 

An Indian Summer (1974) by the British journalist, James Cameron.  I thought this book was mildly interesting - a bit dated, I guess and some of the attitudes Cameron expresses don't sit well in our modern, politically-correct world.  The book covers different parts of India, not just Maharashtra and is probably only interesting if you want to have an insight into how India was perceived by a Western journalist in the early post-colonial days. 

An Indian Housewife's Recipe Book (1985) by Laxmi Khurana - I really love this book.  Simple recipes that anyone could make, I used three of her recipes for my blog post on Indian cooking

And, of course, I came across the titles of books I would still like to read, if I ever get the chance, including:

Anything by Rohinton Mistry - his writing is so great, I can't wait to read another novel by him and, in fact, I have a copy of A Fine Balance (1995) on my bookshelf, awaiting its turn to be read!

Bhagavad Gita - 19th century manuscript
One good thing about reading James Cameron's book is that he pointed me in the direction of a couple of other books I'd be interested in reading.  Although these don't relate specifically to Maharashtra, I'd quite like to read VS Naipaul's An Area of Darkness (1964) and Nirad C. Chaudri's A Passage to England (1959).  Of course, although I've read it before, it would be great to re-read EM Forster's A Passage to India (1924).

I guess everyone should read the Bhagavad Gita at some point, so I'll put that on my 'to read' list. 

My foray into Bollywood movies has got me interested in reading Vikas Swarup's novel, Q&A (2005), which the movie Slumdog Millionnaire was based on, as well as Amrita Pritam's Pinjar (1950), the famous Punjabi novel, which was also made into a movie.

If you've read any of these books, I'd be interested in hearing what you thought about them, just post a comment below.

Image credits:

The photo of the books I read was taken by me.

The image of the19th century manuscript of the Bhagavad Gita is from Wikipedia
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