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26-Sep-2017 23:53

I return to Delhi as I return to my mistress Bhagmati when I have had my fill of whoring in foreign lands.

Thus begins Khushwant Singh's vast, erotic, irrelevant magnum opus on the city of Delhi.

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. 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.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.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, "..your heart not your head, your emotion not your reason."I was annoyed from the first to the last page.

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. 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.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.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, "..your heart not your head, your emotion not your reason."I was annoyed from the first to the last page.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.