“Storm In Chandigarh” By Nayantara Sahgal

The reason I picked up this book was due to the name Chandigarh in the title, my favorite city. I had heard of the author Nayantara Sahgal before but I had not read anything from her. She is daughter of VijayLakshmi Pandit and related to Nehru-Gandhi family. “Storm in Chandigarh” is the story of interpersonal relationships of few couples who lived in Chandigarh when the division of Punjab into Haryana was being worked out.

My hopes from the book were to get to know more about that time and also learn about history of division which later resulted in so much unrest. Chandigarh was the jewel crown of Punjab and was created to replace Lahore, erstwhile capital of Punjab. It was the best planned city with a great vision of future. Both Punjab and Haryana wanted it to be their capital. In the end, Chandigarh remained undivided and to this date it is capital for both Punjab and Haryana. But the book disappoints in that aspect and provides very little of historical aspects. In the story, a civil servant is sent from Delhi to oversee the transition process but very little is written about his work or how it influenced the shaping of Chandigarh.

The book focuses more of the relationship of Jit and Maya; Inder and Saroj, two couples who are going through difficult times in their life. The book takes a look at their extramarital relationships, issues of husband and wife and families. For today’s age such topic is no longer fascinating as it has stopped to arouse any curiosity but in 1969 when this book was written, it must have been very bold.

Overall, the book became very boring and was tough to finish till end. But it was good to read about Chandigarh, however little it was in the book.

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Filed under Fiction, Fictional-History

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