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Book Reviews

Perpetual City – My review

It’s a small book, not a scholarly tome on the origins and development of India’s capital. That is not what Malvika’s book is about.

What it does instead, is act as a time capsule. It brings to life a Delhi nestled between the powerless masses and the powerful classes. A genteel, upper middle class life that existed before the city was overrun by supercars and their loud, horn blaring steroid-jacked “mimbos” (male bimbos. :P)

This was a Delhi of elegance and sophistication, of evening ghazal parties and home-made curries. Sprinkled in between these memories are little nuggets about the history of the city that has been the capital of this, our vast nation for the better part of the last millennium. It isn’t a textual history, but a contextual one, a personal one. And that is why you can, at times, almost feel the hot Delhi night air redolent with the heavy perfume of “raat ki rani” as you read the author’s accounts of her life in a Delhi that has all but disappeared. It’s a rather personal nostalgia, and Malvika shares it with us with style and warmth.

It’s a sweet day-read and a nice remembrance of the days that were. I’d recommend it to anyone with any memory of how the 80s went, or anyone who’d like to know how they went. 🙂


About hbhatnagar

I need to fill this up with much better content than I had populated it with earlier. Why I write a blog maybe? I started blogging in 2009 or thereabouts. I was a newly turned atheist and wanted to converse with others of the same persuasion. We're not exactly a big population group in India! It didn't go very well and I sort of lost interest, posting a few things now and then. I got a lot more regular over the last few months and have been posting almost daily since February '15. There were many reasons why I gradually became more regular in posting, but one way or the other, here I am! So this blog has taken shape, being at different points in time my showcase, my comedy club, my art gallery, my book club, my therapist, my close friend, my innermost self....but always my little corner of the world. You are all welcome to visit and I hope you stay awhile! A few points about me because I don't want to lead anyone on(and trust me this does become an issue more often than I'd care to admit). I'm Indian, the brown-skinned variety; if race, ethnicity or skin colour is an issue, you don't have to get to know me any more than what you see on my blog. I'm 40, so if age is an issue, please be informed accordingly. I was a doctor, an ophthalmic surgeon for 10 years before I quit practice.


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