In September 1857, the Indian way of life changed for ever, after the overnight downfall of the Mughal Dynasty, with the capture and exile of Bahadur Shah Zafar. This book, translated by Safvi, presents translations of four texts that talk about Dilli (today, Delhi) on the eve of the downfall and the fate of royalty following the uprising of 1857. Invoking nostalgia, chronicling both beauty and hardships, it is a gemstone to understand exactly how the royal household functioned and how it ceased to be.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a Physical copy of the book by Hachette India in exchange for an honest review. However, all the thoughts, feelings and opinions expressed in this review are my own.
City of My Heart is a collection of 4 stories translated by the author Rana Saafvi – the aim of the author, I believe, was to make the readers aware of the city that once was “Dilli”; and everything that has now become the foundation of modern day Delhi.
The four stories chosen have been chosen by the author quite diligently; written during the Mughla Era & the cusp of the British Era in India – they are first – hand experience of common and lay men; who were at the ground level.
These men talk about the ground reality – the way the festivals were celebrated, the harmony in which the people from different castes & religion would live in harmony; the trust and loyalty they had in coexisting with each other – a stark contrast to the toxicity, discriminatory and aggression of the modern day Delhi.
For a history buff like me, it’s an interesting look at an era that is quite fascinating to me – but as per usual for its content; the text ends up being dry, though it was expected! This would be an intriguing read for non – fiction lovers would definitely enjoy.
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