Some time last year, as I was sitting in the auto, taking in the scenes all around me, it suddenly hit me that I’d been living in this country for 4+ years, and yet I knew nothing of its history.
Ok so there’s Mahatma Gandhi. Did that even count? Lol. Pretty ironic considering I’ve devoured pretty much most of the historical fiction/non-fiction novels on England, Middle East, China, Rome etc I could get my hands on.
How was it possible that I knew more about the Kuomintang and Afghan warlords than India?
I decided all I needed to do was select a particular period. So I chose the Moghuls era (all these royals stuff easily took my fancy) and got to work.
I went with a local author first (she’s Indian, she’s local. Even if she happens to live in the US lol).
Upon finishing the trilogy, I discovered I was not that far off from where I started. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the novels. In fact, it was a good insight. There were many things I didn’t know that I was just too glad to lap up.
But as the author concentrated mostly on Mehrunnisa, I didn’t feel as if I knew the emperors.
I apologise in advance; I’m a history-freak.
Sorry, my copies are all over the place. Some are here, some are back home in Miri.
So I moved on. I stumbled upon these a lot of times before but was never tempted to buy them. These are a lot more matter-of-fact. A bit bland, but I got more than a glimpse of the characters of these rulers. They’d take you through each emperor, every war, every emotional breakdown, step by step as how India came to be.
I would say there’s no comparison between those two series as both were written from different angles. It all depends on what you seek.
Thick historical books easily bore me, so I usually go with fictions. But as a rule, I’d check on the facts once I’m done with each book. Authors usually go with their imaginations, filling in the gaps when history failed to provide but the foundations of the stories are based on facts.
Yesterday, however, I realised in my greed of pursuing world histories, I seem to forsake my own. Ask me to name the 10 companions of Rasulullah who were promised the paradise, and I’d go into a stutter.
Look at my shelves; how many story books and medical books do I own? And how many Islamic books are there among those?
This person has to buck up, and fast.
P.S: I can’t wait to read Khaled Hosseini’s new book! It’s just lying there, begging to be read. But…..end of posting exam first! *sobs*