Blurb (as on Goodreads):
One of the meanings of the word ‘olio’ is ‘a miscellany’. the books in the aleph olio series contain a mélange of the finest writing to be had on a variety of Indian themes—the great cities, aspects of Indian culture and civilization, uniquely Indian phenomena. Filled with insights and haunting evocations of a country of unrivalled complexity, beauty, tragedy and mystery, each aleph olio book presents India in ways that it has seldom been seen before. The essence of Delhi captures the ‘riches and horrors’ (in William Dalrymple phrase) of the myriad cities of Delhi, beginning with the first one established by Suraj pal, a Tomar Rajput, at the edge of the Aravalli hills. The writers who feature in this volume are Malvika Singh, Ahmed Ali, kamaleshwar, Khushwant Singh, William Dalrymple, Nirmal Verma, Aatish taseer, nilanjana Roy, Pamela Timms, Ruskin Bond, Deepti Kapoor and Siddharth Chowdhury.
The Essence of Delhi beings us 12 stories that talks about Delhi as a Phoenix- rising from its ashes only to be demolished again and again. We also get to see a few typical Delhi households- full of laughter and joy and friendly banters, boys living their best life in the streets of Delhi.
The collection contains stories by 12 notable writers. A glimpse of each story is mentioned below.
- Perpetual City by Malvika Singh: A formal introduction of the history of Delhi and the glories this city shared with fellow humans.
- Twilight in Delhi by Ahmed Ali: An account of a typical twilight in Delhi and the daily activities that involve feeding the pigeons
- A Death in Delhi by Kamaleshwar: A day of Mourning, but not really. Delhites find themselves amidst a funeral and their reaction is the most typical one.
- Delhi by Khuswant Singh: Khuswant’s Singh’s version of Delhi, and a very interesting one.
- City of Djinns by William Dalrymple: An passage from Dalrymple’s book on Delhi.
- Signs by Nirmal Verma: A boy’s journey from a book worm to a skater
- The Temple-Goers by Aatish Taseer: A strange description of two lost souls trying to understand the city.
- A New Arrival by Nilanjana Roy: An intruder into the lives of the street cats residing in Nizammudin and the threat it possesses (A favorite from the collection)
- God’s Own Street Food by Pamela Timms: One woman’s quest to know the secret behind the famous ‘Daulat ki chaat’
- Bhabiji’s House by Ruskin Bond: Ruskin Bond’s favorite household in Delhi, full of crazy characters brought together by a good movie and great food.
- A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor: A story of losing oneself to the Qawwali in a Mosque.
- Death of a Proofreader by Siddharth Chowdhury: A ardent lover of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ we get to meet a Highlander Proofreader and his life of service and friendships.
Purchase Links: |Amazon Hardcover |