Monday, 14 April 2014

Maharaja in Denims by Khushwant Singh: A Review

‘Maharaja in Denims’ by Khushwant Singh, the cover perfectly supports the content of the book. The way this book has been presented to its readers, it surely grabs the spot light. After reading the blurb I can very easily say that this book has something very interesting to offer.

The back cover says – 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.

Let me start from the cover, a talwar holding boy wearing a denim jean under the gown of a Maharaja, perfectly reflects that the main protagonist Hari Sandhu is not just a rich guy but the reincarnation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The soothing yellow back ground with the combination of black makes this book an automatic choice for readers. A job well done by the cover designer, Wasim Helal.

After opening the book, the wonderful font and the quality of the paper will raise readers urge to read the book. The book surprisingly starts with a love-making scene and from the very first page of the book, it starts to become interesting. The story unfolds around Hari, when he started blabbering about the sher-e-punjab Ranjit Singh in the history class, even on his first date with the psychology student Suzanne. The writer has very efficiently distributed the chapters in such a way that any reader can’t suppress the immediate urge to read the next chapter.

It is the story of what how Hari’s and Suzanne’s life is turned when the images of his past life keeps coming and going in Hari’s mind at starts to lay more impact on their lives. At times, readers could find this book a bit stretched when the writer was describing the history of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, but this writer’s wonderful narrative style makes up for this.

The very well described theories of reincarnation, acts as the cherry on the cake. The writer has chosen his words wisely, which added to the glamour of the book. The surprise elements and the unexpected end makes this book a must read for all book lovers. I would like to give it a 4.25 out of 5.

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