HYDERABAD: Bookworms across the world celebrate books and reading every single day. But every April comes a day when we get excited even more than normal and heap love and adulation by the million kilograms on books that make our lives worth living. World Book Day is not just another day in the lives of us book lovers. It is a day in which we get to live our life surrounded by the books we love and promote the one thing we love the most – reading. And hand in hand with UNESCO, too! In honour of World Book Day this year, here are 19 books written by Indian authors that you can pick up and enjoy from the very beginning to the very end!Happy World Book Day and hope you have a day and a year full of books, reading, and everything bookish!
1. The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is a retelling of the Mahabharata, told from Draupadi’s perspective. With a flowing narrative that soothes you, it has the power to anger you on Draupadi’s behalf as it sheds new light on the events of the great epic.
2. When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy: A gut-wrenching story of domestic abuse, ‘When I Hit You’ is written in a matter-of-fact manner, yet is capable of inciting disgust-filled horror. The self-righteousness of the abuser with the social interrogation meted out to the victim forms a layer so terrible that it could break any heart.
3. The Hastinapur Series by Sharath Komarraju. Sharath is one of the most underrated Indian authors, ever. His Hastinapur series, a retelling of the Mahabharata from Mother Ganga’s perspective, is a poignant story of how she came to give up her son, the mighty Bhishma, for the people of Hastinapur and what transpired after.
4. Karno’s Daughter by Rimli Sengupta. It is her work in English and she hits it out of the park. ‘Karno’s Daughter’ is about Buttermilk, an Indian maid who learns to live in the city while managing her properties and life in her village. Her trials and tribulations are a lesson in patience and positivity.
5. Bestseller by Ahmed Faiyaz, a satire on the inner workings of the publishing industry in India, ‘Bestseller’ is witty and humorous, and has the nuances of Indian publishing in a grip that will make you look in awe as the industry thrives.
6. You Can Win by Shiv Khera can without a doubt be declared the King of motivational books in India. His book, ‘You Can Win’ is one of his biggest successes – one that stresses on the point that everyone can be successful and talks about what one can do to win at life.
7. The Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi. Amish was responsible for bringing a different kind of mythological retellings to readers not only in India, but across the world. His devotion to Lord Shiva in real life translates into words in this trilogy and brings out a story that you would have no trouble believing.
8. The Room on the Roof by Ruskin Bond. Ruskin Bond writes for children with the same ease that he writes for adults. ‘The Room on the Roof’ is about Rusty, an Anglo-Indian orphan, who runs away from his strict guardian’s house. It’s an absolute delight to read, like his every other book.
9. The Guide by R.K. Narayan. If there was one Indian classic that I would suggest over all others, it would be ‘The Guide’. This book tells the love story between a guide and a dancer and the guide’s journey into spirituality. It is raw and mesmerizing to say the least.
10. Malgudi Days by R.K. Narayan: A collection of short stories set in the fictional town of Malgudi, this book was a wonderful trendsetter of its times. It brought out the rusticity of the village and made it into a universal feeling identifiable by people around the world, be they from villages, towns, or cities.
11. Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag: Originally written in Kannada by Vivek Shanbhag and translated into English by Srinath Perur, ‘Ghachar Ghochar’ is the story of a family who becomes dysfunctional after becoming rich. The end might seem a little abrupt but otherwise, this one is a gem.
12. Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto is one of the few books about mental health coming from an Indian author that actually makes a huge impact. It makes an important point about how it’s not only the person with mental health who’s suffering but also the people around them.
13. Sniper’s Eye by Mainak Dhar: When a book starts off with a date and a gunshot in a crowded mall, be sure it’s going to be a fast-paced thriller that will keep you on your toes. Mainak Dhar’s writing flows, takes no breaks from being awesome, and delivers a cracker of a story!
14. Koi Good News? By Zarreen Khan is a wonderfully relatable and humorous account of a married couple who are hounded with questions on when they plan to have a baby. What happens when they do conceive and how the people around them comically change forms the rest of the story.
15. The Diary on the Fifth Floor by Raisha Lalwani, her debut novel, makes an impact and how! It talks about how the world affects one single person, but how it doesn’t make sense for that person to react the way they do, the inevitability of human demise, and the different forms of depression.
16. Poonachi by Perumal Murugan can be seen as an allegory or as it is. Perumal Murugan’s story of a weak, black goat adopted by an old couple is both a reflection of a human’s tendency to be caring and and how women are treated in rural society. It’s true either way.
17. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri Jhumpa Lahiri’s first novel is the story of Bengali man trying to come to terms with life, his parents’ choice of his name, and the cloud cast by impending identity crises. ‘The Namesake’ transcends regional barriers, pulling itself closer to everyone who has questioned their identities before.
18. An Offbeat Yellow Back by Aditi Bakshi: It isn’t often that a bunch of thoughts and articles published in a book form find their mark so accurately. Aditi Bakshi’s ‘An Offbeat Yellow Back’ talks about the different problems with the world as it was and as it is and raises some very pertinent questions.
19. Our Moon Has Blood Clots by Rahul Pandita. ‘Our Moon Has Blood Clots: The Exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits’ is a jarring account of the 1990 purge of the Hindu minority group from Kashmir. The torture and killing of hundreds of people in the process of displacement is a spine-chilling tale that Rahul Pandita puts down in this book.