Books are indeed a man’s best friend. They truly reflect and shape one’s emotions, feelings, opinions and prejudices. Books are like a window to the world. Nothing can beat that exoticism attached to the fresh pages of a new book. Life seems bliss with a cup of coffee in one hand and a good book in another. India has produced some great novelists who have written in a wide variety of genres ranging from thrillers and fiction to highly acclaimed classics. Indian novels are culturally embedded, rich, extremely expressive and a treat to read as they manage to stand apart from the rest of the novels. The rich world of Indian writing is beautiful and amazingly vast. Indian novels will take you on an exciting journey where you will get to know nearly everything there is to know about this great nation of ours. Here is a list of 10 Indian novels that are worth reading at least once!
10. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
Set against the backdrop of government crackdowns and a State of Emergency, A Fine Balance quite poignantly depicts the eternity of human relationships and bonds. Amid an uncertain future, four strangers come together to form an accidental family which leads them from friendship to love. This novel is full of humanity and profundity.
9. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
Adiga’s debut novel, The White Tiger has won the Man Booker Prize for friction. The White Tiger is a highly captivating, fast paced and breath taking account of the son of a rickshaw puller who becomes a successful businessman eventually. It is a story of ambitions, aspirations and greed which lead to murder, dacoity and betrayal.
8. The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
Kiran Desai is an accomplished writer whose books have won several literary awards. The novel depicts the intermingling of two cultures associated with migration. It is about a retired judge and his orphaned granddaughter who are trying to fill the lacuna between the very different two worlds they inhabit. It is surely worth a read.
7. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
A suitable boy is a beautiful account of our very own desi culture. The author has quite wittingly incorporated a family drama, a love story and Indian politics in one single volume. The book begins with a mother’s quest to find a suitable match for her daughter. Hindu Muslim rivalry and the empowerment of Muslim women are some of the social issues that the author takes up through this amazingly written novel. It is an enthralling portrait of 1950s India and can be read again and again for pleasure. The novel is charming, witty and simply extraordinary.
6. Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh
Touted as the partition novel, train to Pakistan depicts the story of a Muslim-Sikh village at the Indo-Pak border which gets engulfed in the violence and tragedy of partition. The novel truly transcends all boundaries of religion, caste and creed. Written by one of the most colorful and loved authors of our country, Train to Pakistan is a lovely book.
5. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
This is another book which deals with the transition of India and the era of partition. It is a lovely story about a child born at the stroke of midnight when India got her Independence written in a bold, exuberant and inventive manner. It was awarded the Booker of Bookers in 1993 and is a revitalising tale of a nation born out of turmoil.
4. The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh
An award winning book, the shadow lines is a story of the interlinked lives of three generations of a Bengali and British family. The backdrop of war including the World War II, the partition and communal riots looms large over their lives. The novel effectively captures time and events and is woven around memories. This novel will surely leave an indelible impact on you as Ghosh’s vision of history and his heart breaking portrait of a riot come to the fore.
3. Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra
Sacred Games is an exceptionally well written thriller about the Mumbai underworld and about the city itself. The story revolves around a cop and a most wanted gangster and holds a connection with all facets of life in Mumbai city. Chandra has a superb story telling style and has produced one of the most startling Indian novels.
2. The Guide by RK Narayan
A national prize winner novel, The Guide is a classic and a lucid book written with sly humour and simplicity. The book is a highly engrossing story of a tour guide and a neglected housewife written with great intensity and depths.
1. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
The God of small things is a dazzling book which is highly absorbing and is ingeniously structured. Set in Kerala, it is about family and social injustices and is remembered for its memorable characters and its quality of writing. The book is so good that you just do not feel like putting it down. You might just like to read it in one go!