One of the ways (and perhaps the best way) to get a feel of a city and everything about it is to read up on it. Yes, maybe the objective reality will be filtered by someone else’s lens, but to understand their view of a place is in itself quite a treat.
Bengaluru is no exception to playing background to stories, and several fictional and non-fictional books have woven the city, its people and its culture into their own narrations. Here are some such books worth checking out –
- Cut Like Wound – Written by Anita Nair, the book is seeped in deep psychological twists and turns. As Inspector Borei Gowda races against a cold-blooded killer, he is forced to reckon with several demons of his personal life as well. Full of dark alleys and shady by-lanes, this book has snippets of Bengaluru’s daily life in every page.
- The Promise Of The Metropolis: Bengaluru’s Twentieth Century – Janki Nair’s sprawling volume provides an intimate account of what the vision of the city was and what it actually grew up to be. Social, political and cultures angles are taken in along with an exploration of the city’s modern identity.
- The Lost Girl – Inspired by Frankenstein, Sangu Mandanna’s debut novel follows the journey of a girl whose only purpose in life is to take someone else’s place. Abandoning everything and moving to India, she is faced with choices that will change her life forever.
- The Red Carpet : Bengaluru Stories – An eclectic mix of wild stories and humour that cuts across the various sections of Bengaluru to present to you a diverse slice of life. Lavanya Shankaran’s collection of stories will take you everywhere – from small traditional homes to the large glass and steel buildings, all the essence of the city she writes about.
- The Cosmopolitans – At an age where old ghosts come back to haunt you, Anjum Hasan’s protagonist is living at the edge of Bengaluru’s art scene. When old characters come back to her life, everything is tossed up into a royal salad of questions, adventures, and emotions.
- Multiple City: Writings On Bengaluru – Aditi De collection of stories revel in the city’s multicultural and multidimensional history, flitting between Bengaluru the IT Hub and Bengaluru the part of Mysore, and Bengaluru the home of everyday colourful characters. Full of warmth and life, the book has something for everyone.
- No Time For Goodbyes – A modern teen falls through a time hole, and lands in 1980s Bengaluru. Struggling to go back, she finds herself at a royal seat to look at her mother’s life, her delightful neighbour, and the city going throw a dynamic period of change.
Well, that surely adds to the reading list. So grab a few or all of them, and see how different people think and write about the same city so differently, all because they chose to focus on a particular time, a particular area, or a particular section of people.