Book Review – Durbar – Tavleen Singh

When I first read the blurb of this book, I thought of giving it a shot. Non-Fiction has its own charm. Once you are hooked to them, it becomes extremely tough to put these books down. Same thing happened with Tavleen Singh’s latest book Durbar which is all about the times when Indira Gandhi and her sons was ruling India. Right from the author’s note till the end of the book, I just kept turning pages, absorbed as much as I could and finished it on a note of satisfaction.

Tavleen Singh, a popular name in media has penned down three other books. Her writing style is interesting and you get caught up with it instantly. When I read the author’s note, I was sure that I am going to like this book but I did. Though I am somehow not convinced with a lot of things being said here but ignoring all that, what matters is, my weekend read was good.

The book opens with how Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated and then moving back in time, goes to the times when Indira Gandhi was the prime minister and Sanjay Gandhi kept creating one storm after the other. The times of emergency, its outcomes, its negative effects on Congress and the people of India, the elections of 1977, the campaigning, the results, Morarji Desai, Chaudhary Charan Singh, equations with Pakistan, Nehru’s socialist idealogy, where things went wrong and how India is still facing its outcomes, Tavleen Singh has discussed it all with her own perspective.

Also, in the book, she discusses her equation with Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and a lot of popular names from media. She also opens a couple of things about her personal life as well. How she fell in love, how her equations with people changed with time. Her day out with Amitabh Bachchan to do a writeup on the biggest bollywood star of those times. Tavleen has spread her wings in almost every possible direction. The book has got a lot to offer.

I am genuinely not interested in politics. It disgusts me and I just don’t want to keep a track of anything related to politics going around but media these days and the habit of reading doesn’t let me do so. Also, one of the few unconvincing things about Tavleen Singh’s Durbar is, how she has missed out on a lot of things by saying she doesn’t remember them anymore whereas she remembers the conversations from the numerous dinner parties she used to attend in her earlier days of journalism with the minutest details. I am not questioning her here but I couldn’t digest it but anyways, Durbar for me was a great weekend read and if by chance you are interested to know what happened in the times of Indira Gandhi from a journalist’s point of view, pick this book, I am sure it won’t disappoint you.

Book Source : Publisher
Publisher : Hachette India
Genre : Non-Fiction
ISBN : 978-93-5009-444-0

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