On 24th November 2016, Desi Lekh completed its first year. The feeling is surreal as it has become such an integral part of my life. On this special occasion, I am honoured to share with you a guest post by my biggest inspiration and an established blogger himself - Mr Deepak Amembal. And, a man I am proud to call my Pappa!
In this post, he clarifies a very important objective of Desi Lekh and also lists some of his favourite books and authors belonging to the genre of South Asian fiction.I hope you enjoy reading this very special post!
Am chuffed at having the privilege of writing a guest post to celebrate the first anniversary of ‘Desi Lekh’ which is a labour of love nurtured to maturity by Snehal Amembal. So here goes –
!! CONGRATULATIONS !!
In these days of super specialisations, Literature is no exception, hence this blog has filled a vacuum felt by the growing number of Desis writing in English and their readers.
The best part of this blog is it does not dwell on negativity, in the sense that, it weeds out bad publications and presents and reviews only the best. The arrival of self-publication has led to a lot of rubbish being published under the garb of literature which is unfortunate and needs to be shown the door. Having said that let me too list out my favourite Desi authors irrespective of whether they reside in Des or Pardes, as long as they write about India, Indians and its multi-cultural strands. This list is not necessarily comprehensive and I place them on the same level of readability.
The first one that comes to mind is William Dalrymple the Scottish religious writer and critic who authored The Last Mughal, The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi 1857 is a masterpiece that helps one understand Indian history in the right perspective and I would exhort all Indians to read it to appreciate the reasons for the fall of the Mughal dynasty and its repercussions on India.
The next is Padma Shri Amitava Ghosh whose book ‘The Hungry Tide’ is a treatise of the swampland of Sunderbans and a tribute to the people living there. A must read for anyone even remotely interested in wanting to learn how islands are formed and destroyed along with the humans residing therein.
Next on my list is an amazing writer Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni whose book ‘Palace of Illusions’ gives a female perspective to the epic Mahabharata through the eyes of Draupadi in a patriarchal world. This book gives an insight into how the woman has to bear so many crosses in a patriarchal society and help us understand the woman’s plight and hopefully treat them with much more respect than presently accorded.
Kiran Nagarkar a Sahitya Akademy Award winner is a must read writer. His book ‘Ravan and Eddie explores the life of two boys, one a Hindu another a Catholic in the urban chawl of Mumbai. Laced with humour it delves into how much fun it can be growing up cheek to jowl in cramped quarters.
And last but not the least is Ruskin Bond, a storyteller par excellence, a raconteur in its true sense, loved by children and adults alike, who lives in Landour, Mussoorie, India. His short stories are heart warming exuding positivity and joy in nature and childhood. Even his horror stories will bring a smile on your face!
This list by no means is exhaustive and courtesy demands that I do not overstay and remember am a guest in this space!
Cheers to many more posts by Desi Lekh!!