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Book Review : Maharaja in Denims – Khushwant Singh

Posted on January 27, 2015 at 11:38am by khushwant.singh No Comment

A true page-turner, this book takes you through the various stages of the protagonist, Hari Sandhu’s life as he discovers that he is not just a modern-ameer-shehzaada but the re-incarnation of the Sher-e-Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh whose empire extended from Tibet to the deserts of Sindh and is spoken of with great grandeur and pride even today.

After seeing his elder brother die right before his eyes in ruinous car crash, Hari becomes an estranged personality showing disinterest in all the things he once pursued. With great care he is restored to his original swanky self where he enjoyed the upscale privileges of driving expensive SUV’s, dating the hottest girls and getting what he wants the way he wanted it. All this continues until, all of a sudden, flashes of a distant past start disrupting his Present. And as the story takes the reader deeper,  he begins to find answers that trace his behaviour and sudden outbursts to that of one of Punjab’s greatest rulers. Will this affect hisreal life? Will he find the true love of his life or will his fancy for harem girls and night-stands come in the way of his unrequited love? Will he stand up to the expectations of his family or prove to be an utter disappointment to them? These answers lie in his Self Discovery where he faces the harshest of truths, virtually transcending into different eras and feels being part of the riots, massacres and fiery battles that one broke the Golden Nation that India once was into several shattered pieces. He realises he was meant to be what he had once been.

And this Realisation awakens his inner spirit and unearths the reality of the current situation before his once indifferent eyes. A boy who found attending classes cumbersome is now dreaming to be an extremist politician to bring about the change he wishes to see. The Maharaja’s essence and passion seem to be flooding into him and getting outsourced into all the spheres of his life as he transforms and becomes sensitive to the reality. He is pulsating with an inborn energy waiting to thwart away those who tarnish his Nation. Personally, he evolves from being a nineteen-year old with lustful thoughts into a man who understands the meaning of love and protecting whom he values.

This book shows how embracing your past can actually strengthen the foundations of your present and lay the early plinth to your Future. There is no running away. Your demons have to be faced squarely in the eye. And pain and failure are but a part of an ongoing struggle that gives a meaning to your life, which is all about understanding your Calling and pursuing it with all your heart. (more…)

Book Review : Maharaja in Denims –- By Khushwant Singh

Posted on January 27, 2015 at 11:35am by khushwant.singh No Comment
Namesake of a legendary author, his book has a very unusual title. The cover and the interesting blurb are just about enough to draw you towards this book. 

‘Maharaja in Denims’ is an atypical narrative which revolves around the history of Punjab and primarily the great warrior Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It is a gripping tale of how an ordinary affluent boy’s life changes when he realizes that he is a re-incarnation of the first Sikh Emperor and the ruler of Punjab.
Hari Sandhu is the usual rich teenager next door who, like every other guy his age, is eyeing pretty girls around college. He soon realizes that not everything is usual with him. The opening love-making scene itself reveals his strange characteristic which leaves him astounded. He slowly realizes his connection with the great Maharaja but falls deeper and deeper into an emotional abyss with extremely disturbing past incidents hovering around him. He starts being able to recall incidents from his several past lives which leave stubborn impressions on his present life.
The book is bursting with historical incidents, political issues and is rich in every small detail revolving around these issues of that era in Punjab and Lahore. The story has several layers to it and each layer opens with a replete historical perspective and incidents that Hari Sandhu’s past lives encountered. The author has painstakingly woven intricate threads of history of Punjab through the narrative to give a very clear picture of the turmoil that the people of Punjab would have gone through over last few centuries. The fact and details clearly indicate the amount of research gone into putting them into the book. (more…)

Maharaja in Denims by Khushwant Singh: a review

Posted on January 27, 2015 at 11:31am by khushwant.singh No Comment
The color combination of Yellow ocher and Black, along with the eye grabbing font style and good-to-feel paper quality adds to the glamour of the Maharaja in Denims. Yes, that’s the name of Khushwant Singh’s third book, Maharaja in Denims. The Royal Sword, the Shawl and The Jooti’s along with The Denimis surely the perfect combination one could ever think of and has suited the title to its best.
According to the back cover- Chandigarh: a modern city with all the trappings of the uber-rich – snazzy SUVs, glitzy homes and fast-paced, decadent lifestyles. Hari and Suzanne: a young, lusty, college-going couple. While living the life of a normal teenager, Hari starts getting flashes of his past life – which tell him he’s an incarnation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the mighty founder of the Sikh empire two hundred years ago. And when Suzanne attempts to decode Hari’s past life through regression, their lives change forever as many shocking past lives are discovered! Interwoven throughout the unfolding of Hari and Suzanne’s present-day story are vignettes of Ranjit Singh’s life and loves, valour and conquest. When Suzanne helps Hari uncover the secrets of his past life, they stumble upon people and incidents that link the present day to the turbulent and disturbing history of Punjab. The intense story moves to England and then to Mumbai, with an astonishing revelation at the end, which is set in the future and yet, has a deep historical resonance. A modern tale, Maharaja in Denims is moving, bold and racy. (more…)

An Interesting Lesson in the History of Punjab || A Review of Khushwant Singh’s ‘Maharaja in Denims’

Posted on January 27, 2015 at 11:29am by khushwant.singh No Comment

Khushwant Singh is an author, columnist, and TV Show Host

By Vibha Malhotra I had heard about the book Maharaja in Denims by Khushwant Singh much before I actually got down to reading it. The title is catchy, but nothing prepares you for what lies inside those innocuous looking covers. The book starts right in the middle of love-making between Hari and Gaitri, and it is obvious that things are headed downhill between them right from the time Hari ecstatically cries out “I’m coming, Lily.” A fuming Gaitri gathers her clothes and storms out, all this while hurling choicest of Punjabi abuses at Hari, who himself is as shocked by this mysterious turn of events as Gaitri and the readers.

“Lily”, one of the names that keep flashing in Hari’s mind, is his connection to his more illustrious past life – none other than that of the “Lion of Punjab” Maharaja Ranjit Singh. As the novel progresses, Hari meets Suzanne, the girl with whom he would eventually fall in love, and the flashes from his past life keep getting more frequent, clearer, and sinister. Suzanne, who is a psychology student, takes Hari through sessions of past life regression, thinking that it would cure him of  his extraordinary predicament. But these sessions end up revealing much more than either of them had bargained for. (more…)

“Maharaja in Denims, a tale of Love, Intrigue and Passion”

Posted on January 27, 2015 at 11:24am by khushwant.singh No Comment

Appositely titled, “Maharaja in Denims”, the latest story by Khushwant Singh intriguingly combines passionate love, history, tragedy as well as the local culture of Chandigarh, author’s worktown.

In his first fictitious narrative spanning multiple time zones and generations, the author relates with various aspects ofPunjab, including its formation, as well as Punjabi families particularly the farming community and successfully creates flashes of university life of Chandigarh.

Justifiably priced at Rs 250, the book dramatically creates interest in its reader towards the crucial events that shaped the present day Punjab. Blended well with the modern fiction, in less than 200 pages, the book emerges to be a light but thoughtful dose of antiquity of Sikhism and Punjab. Starting with the aura and greatness of Ranjit Singh, the book touches upon Captain WG Osborne’s fascinating account of Ranjit Singh, his harem and his love for women (no womaniser). Moving ahead, the book reflects on the aftereffects of the partition and 1984 riots in Delhi.

“Ranjit Singh, who rose from the status of a petty chieftain to become the most powerful Indian ruler was also the first and only Sikh ruler of Punjab. His empire extended from Tibet to the deserts of Sindh, and from the Khyber Pass to theSutlej in the east, with an estimated area of 1, 00,436 sq. miles and a population of five-and-a-half million.” I was particularly inspired by the vastness of the empire of the great Maharaja.  Although, the typical political hatred could also be smelled out of the flow of events, overall the book is very much a work of fiction. (more…)

Maharaja in Denims: Khushwant Singh

Posted on January 27, 2015 at 11:22am by khushwant.singh No Comment

‘Maharaja in Denims’ by Khushwant Singh, a historical fiction orbit in the region of the existence and era of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the last monarch of Punjab, usually identified as The Lion of Punjab as well as his son, Duleep Singh, where Maharaja was embodied through the eyes of a youthful, genteel Punjabi young man named, Hari, who believes he is the re-embodiment of the Maharaja.

An anecdote of shattering affection, deception, destitution, sensation, obsession and much more, the book rallies around teenaged central character, Hari Singh Sandhu, present-day resident of Chandigarh, and Suzanne his girlfriend and entwined all through the recitation of Hari and Suzanne’s contemporary fairy-tale, are sketches of Ranjit Singh’s life and loves, gallantry and conquests.

Resolutely ingrained in the present, Hari leads the life of any debonair, affluent, maverick young person but very early into their liaison, Hari starts to get flashes of a precedent life that consist of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, creator of the Sikh realm and witnesses all the populace, hostilities, customs, discrimination in Punjab and nearby territories visibly portentous to a much taken aback teenager the very existent chance of him being Ranjit Singh’s embodiment.

Shocked at these goings-on in his up till now tangential and contentedly directionless way of life, he needs slight urging when Suzanne wishes him to undertake a precedent verve regression, as she is knocked for six to find out that Hari has had further than one turbulent past existence which alters both their lives everlastingly. (more…)