City of my heart. Selected and translated from the Urdu by Rana Safvi.
I fell in love with the cover, it’s so beautiful!! I spent a decent amount of time gawking at the cover and then finally started to read. The very mention of Lal Qila of Delhi makes me feel special because my parents told me I took my first steps there or rather learnt to walk in the Diwan-e-Khaas way back in 1992.
This book started on a good note, but however the translation felt monotonous and the stories too. It felt good to know and read about various cultures co-existing in the Nineteenth century under the Mughal rule but somehow this book failed to impress me.
As a history nerd/lover I was excited to read it. I felt something was missing in the writing or translation.
I was constantly checking in between reading to see how many pages are left.
The one text I liked reading was the last one, Begaamat ke aansu, where the British Empire was established and the Mughal emperors turned to paupers in no time. I loved the translation.
I did find this book very monotonous, and it felt like reading a research thesis. It was very very informative, and it will be useful for people who wish to study about that era. It talked with grace about the grandeur and opulence Delhi and the Mughals enjoyed, but it didn’t work for me. It is a very rich cultural book but sadly it failed to interest me.
Thank you Hachette India for sending in a copy.