Sunday, 20 April 2014

Maharaja in Denims by Khushwant Singh: a review

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 Denim is 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.

I might not be wrong if I say that this book is a tribute to the Lion of Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Though, while I take Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s name maybe the youth of today’s time won’t pick up this book thinking it to be boring! But, the make love scene and the connection to the present world throughout the book surely shows that the book is written for all age groups and everyone would equally love it.

I would like to call this book a very compact book. While I say compact, I mean, this book has very limited characters but it leaves a very strong impact on its readers! The extensive research done on the characters and content reflects in the book and I loved the way how the writer has even credited the references throughout.

The concept of Reincarnation took a very new and sharp turn with this book giving it a realistic feel! The facts about past life and future life therapy like regression and progression has been very well shown in the book. Along with that, the readers get the chance to divulge into the history and life of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in depth.

The narrative style and the usage of words were a treat to the reader’s eyes! The characters of Hari and Suzanne were very well portrayed along with the relationship they share. Creating a youthful yet strong character, Hari to raise the youth from its slumber has done the correct job!

At only a few places, I felt that the book divulged more into the details of Maharaja Ranjit Singh which were a bit unnecessary. Other than that, the double plus quotient of the book was its unexpected ending.

Trust me when I say this but when the book was approaching its end, I felt sad and didn't want the book to end. The ending of the book is sure to leave any reader teary eyed! Waiting to read more of the writer and especially more on the topics the writer touched in the book, I would rate it a 4.75 out of 5.

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