Kabir gave me this book after reading it. I completed reading it in Dec last year but didn’t get around to posting a review. This is also a book that I haven’t read on a Kindle :). Ages since I did that. The challenge I have of not reading a book on Kindle is I cant make notes, because I don’t write on a book ever. On Kindle I can make notes, highlight whatever I want. Anyway this is a review about the book and not about how I read !!
Well, the review is also similar to how I meandered on to my reading habits while reviewing the book – its all over the place. I loved “Durbar”. In “India’s broken tryst” its more about Tavleen’s life in Mumbai and Delhi and interesting tidbits about the street children and their lives. I felt there is a disproportionate sense of her own importance where she mentions about Mrs. Sonia Gandhi creating trouble for her life partner in his real estate project because of her dislike for Tavleen …ahhh, I think Mrs. Sonia Gandhi had so much power then and so much wealth that Tavleen or her partner honestly didn’t matter. Also she has never been in active politics and doesn’t show any inclination to join anytime soon, so she was no threat to Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. A few pages I felt were wasted on that.
I did like the overall theme of the book which is to say that we haven’t necessarily lived up to our tryst with destiny. I agree, we haven’t. The fact that UP, the state that the “Gandhi” family has been winning elections from is in an abysmal state is proof enough, or for that matter the fact that the government hospitals are in a terrible state, or that there are hardly any facilities for the disabled as Tavleen points out in the book. I didn’t understand why the side stories of those street children had to be brought in or the visits to the orphanage to rescue some child or the other … they are very powerful stories by themselves and Tavleen obviously has her heart in the right place as she tries to help many of them, but they stand around as individual stories rather than being part of the overall narrative.
At the end of the book is a word of caution for Mr. Modi and a good word of caution. Durbar made me think about the Nehru-Gandhi family a bit more and gave me insights that were fascinating, but this book, just gave me a few stories about the street children in Mumbai which caught my attention. So my recommendation would be to just borrow the book and read it – I may not be very willing to pay for this one, unlike Durbar.