About the book: Have you ever thought about who, where or what you were in your past life? Maharaja in Denims is all about a young teenager whose life changes after he discovers that he has had more than one past lives. Hari, a teenager believes that he is the reincarnation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who is also known as the Lion of Punjab. Suzzane, Hari’s girlfriend tries to find out more about his past life using the practice of regression and discovers that he has had more than one past lives. The book gives the readers an understanding of Punjab’s history and the after-effects of Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Furthermore, the book talks about Ranjit Singh’s life, love and conquests. The plot is gripping and makes you not want to put the book down.
About the author: Born in a leading farming family of Punjab, Khushwant Singh developed writing as an alternate career at the age of twenty-four. He is the author of best-selling Sikhs Unlimited, a travelogue from UK to USA featuring extraordinary Sikhs and Turbaned Tornado, biography of Fauja Singh, the world’s oldest marathon runner. He has also penned down books like ‘The Mark of Vishnu and Other Stories’, ‘The History of Sikhs’ and ‘Train to Pakistan’. An alumnus of St. John’s High School, Chandigarh and Department of Mass Communication, Punjab University, Khushwant Singh has also written for the Times of India, The Tribune, BBC Online and India Today. His work on the Punjabis and Sikh diaspora abroad is used extensively as research material by western universities, thus earning him the title of being a chronichler of the Sikhs of the new century.
Review: ‘Maharaja in Denims’ by Khushwant Singh is a perfect book for history lovers. It is a tale of history and suspense. I liked the title very much. The author made me travel from present to the past giving me a feel that I have witnessed few of these incidents personally. The book is about – Hari, a 19 year old college student who suddenly discovers that he is a reincarnation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the founder of the Sikh Empire. He gets flashes of information about the life and times of the Sikh ruler without ever knowing anything about him. His girlfriend, Suzanne who is a student of Psychology helps him recover memories of his past life or reincarnations through regression technique. Maharaja in Denims connects the past and the present with the story of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s life, loves, rule, battles and times along with the current love story of Hari. The story also deals with the Sikhs of now generation – with shorn hair, affluent kids with SUVs and expensive motorbikes, the skewed male-female ratio in the state, preference of weekend get-aways in Himachal, dollar dreams of the youth, UK-based second generation NRIs, deaths of farmers due to pesticides, drug addiction along with the killing of the Sikhs after Indira Gandhi’s assassination, the politics of votes and the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. The writer has very efficiently dispersed the chapters in such a way that any reader can’t hold back the instant urge to read the next chapter. The very well described theories of re-embodiment, 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 unforeseen end makes this book a must read for all book lovers. The writing style is quick and racy with high doses of sentiment, politics and sex. In the end the book leaves you with a definite sense of history being an ineradicable part of the present.
I write a lot, which keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. There is always something to write about, always a new story to craft. Not writing, for me, is like trying to hold back a sneeze. Learning to write was the most powerful influence in my life. I can still remember the awe I felt when I realized I could put real words onto paper and tell out a story. From that first ‘a-ha’ moment I knew I wanted to write.
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