InOnIt Guides: The Must-Read Indian Bestsellers of 2013
Books, Books, Books! Remember the jingle from Derek O’Brien’s Bournvita Quiz Contest? Books are indeed a man’s best friend. These pieces of paper come together to disclose so much about the way the world thinks and emotes. Since our country is gifted with many literary minds that possess the gift of story-telling, we decided to bring you the must-read Indian bestsellers of 2013. Now all you need is to find a comfy spot and a free evening!
1. Jacob Hills by Ismita Tandon Dhanker
Centered around a murder mystery, Jacob Hills ventures into the unforbidden territory by digging into the dirty dealings of the Indian army. The leading protagonist, the Anglo-Indian Eva, is shocked as the many ugly truths are unravelled to reveal the depravity, adultery, pedophilia, couch politics and wife torture. Gripping and certain to keep you glued till the last page, Ismita who herself hails from an army background taps into the period of the 1980s when India was walking the thin line between tradition and modernity.
2. Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan
A champion of chick lit, Chauhan once again offers up a rom-com with Those Pricey Thakur Girls. The book infuses a hint of Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice, in an Indian setting. The book is about the high-life in westernized Delhi, and a love story that revolves around the lives of the rich and famous. Chauhan brings out some of the stereotypes you may encounter in Delhi, including the snobbery of St.Stephen’s alumni. The delight of reading an Anuja Chauhan book is that every character in the book is distinctive and outstanding.
3. Teatime for the Firefly by Shona Patel
Teatime for the Firefly is set in the period post World War II and the changes it brought into the social patterns in India. The story follows the paradigm shift in the life of Layla who is married off to a rich Manik and moves into a British-centric neighbourhood in Assam. On her debut as a writer, Shona Patel’s offering reflects her exemplary writing skills through her personal experiences when she grew up in Assam. The vivid imagery of Assam presented in the book is probably the result of the visualization skills the writer possesses being a trained graphic designer.
4. The Big Fix by Vikas Singh
The Big Fix is probably a work of fiction by Singh in the light of the murky IPL spot-fixing fiasco that gripped Indian cricket earlier this year. Revolving around Shaurya, who plays the central character, the story of The Big Fix discloses the chain of events ranging from murder, conspiracy, love’s labour lost, and team politics. A resident editor for the Times of India, Singh is a cricket enthusiast, who claims to read almost every written word around him, be it from the newspaper or the label on the cough syrup bottle.
5. Jump Cut by Krishna Shastri Devulapalli
For decades, the Hindi film industry has known to be an evil force in the guise of glamour. It often discredits the contribution of unknown faces and voices. In Jump Cut, Krishna tells us the story of how IP rights or Intellectual Property rights have been utterly disregarded in an unforgiving film industry. The main character, Ray Raman, discovers that his father is crestfallen after he learns that a shrewd filmmaker has credited himself for his father’s work on a particular movie. The story progresses to how Ray seeks justice for his father’s works and what follows.
6. Eternal Bonds by Manoj Singh
Life is like snakes and ladders. You cannot accomplish a dream without having combatted a few road blocks. Eternal Bonds voices the emotions of Amit, a small-town lad who pursues his dream of becoming a doctor, but his troubles seem far from over. A bed-ridden sister, a schizophrenic wife, and familial discord stand before him and how he manages to strike a balance forms the crux of this book. Primarily a writer of Hindi fiction, Singh has written Eternal Bonds originally in Hindi titled, Bandhan. He is a civil servant by profession and his stories reflect the humble upbringing in the lives of India’s small towns.
7. The Chocolate Log by Cheryl Kumar Templeton
A beautiful true story of how a married couple gave up their illustrious careers to start a patisserie in a small town, The Chocolate Log is a biography of sorts from Templeton. Templeton who was an English teacher started the Chocolate Log in McLeodganj located in Dharamshala alongwith her husband, Allan, a former Indian Air force pilot. The story reveals the couple’s hardships in how they came to build a respectable cafe amidst a town known for prostitution, pedophilia and drugs.
8. The Curse of That Night by Rochak Bhatnagar
The Curse of That Night raises the curtains on the social tensions that have been gripping the country, especially the way women are treated. The book challenges the age old notion that India is a male-dominated country. I feel the book could be a great way to enlighten the men in our country on how should they deal with the opposite sex.
We hope you will enjoy reading these works as much as we enjoyed compiling this list for you. So step up and discover Indian literature beyond Chetan Bhagat and Ravinder Singh.
If you are looking to channelize your inner writing skills, click for some fun stationery to pep you up.