Stranger To History.

Stranger-To-History-The cover goes on to say in the blurb “A Son’s Journey Through Islamic Lands”.

This book was loaned to me by Miriam, a friend who thought that I needed some diversion due to a minor illness.  This was one among four books and her choice is impeccable.  I shall read two more and write about them too as one of them is a book of crossword puzzles which simply needs my attention.

The writer of this book Aatish is the love child of one of India’s popular columnists, Tavleen Singh and Pakistani Punjab’s assassinated Governor Late Salman Taseer. 

I had read reviews about this book and just did not get inspired enough to buy the book when it first hit Indian review circuits.  I suppose that synchronicity had to play its part and Miriam had to bring it to my notice so that I could read it.

It is a remarkably well written book about a son born to an Indian lady journalist and a Pakistani politician, who goes in search of his Muslim identity and to get to know something about his father.  I enjoyed learning things about Turkey, Saudi Arabia and performing the Umrah, Syria, Iran and finally Pakistan as seen from a writer with a rather odd pedigree to be writing about the subject.

I strongly recommend it to those interested in learning about Islam and what it is doing to various Muslims around the world and about India Pakistan equations.

To wind up and to give my readers a little tidbit about Miriam, let me also reproduce what she has written on the first page of the book. “A present to myself in honour of Tavleen Singh and her fearless writings.”

10 thoughts on “Stranger To History.”

  1. Since making your acquaintance via blogging I have been thinking a lot about Gandhi and knowing to a degree how American’s view him, I was wondering how the present day Indian viewed the man. Given the Hindu/Muslim differences during his lifetime and at his death, I have read that the Indian government at the time of Gandhi’s death went to great lengths to ensure the Muslims that the Hindu authorities did not hold them in any way responsible for the death of Gandhi. Since those terrible days much water has flowed beneath the bridge.

    When you have the time and if it is of any interest to you, I would like to hear your opinions with regard to the current day atmosphere, political or otherwise, now surrounding the legacy of Gandhi from an Indian standpoint?
    Alan G recently posted..Honey…. have you seen the paper?

    1. The Gandhi that you talk about, the Mahatma is totally irrelevant to today’s Indians. Even many of the older lot like me who were alive when he was assassinated know that he is largely a ceremonial icon to be brought out when we need some quote from him like this one: “What do I think of Western civilization? I think it would be a very good idea.” There is no Gandhi legacy left. It is mammon or religious jingoism all the way.

      The Gandhis that you hear about now are descended from Feroze Gandhi, the son in law of Nehru and husband of Indira Gandhi. They are currently our biggest source of humour in India.

      The Muslim vs the rest conundrum in India is very real and has various shades to it. The underlying factors that aggravate the situation are too many for me to write here and shall send you a mail.

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