They say, fiction triumphs where history and historiography meet failure. True enough. Through imagination and innovation, fiction tries to. Looking through glass. By Mukul Kesavan Ravi Dayal Pages: Price: Rs Of course history is an attempt to make the past stable and of. At The Close Of The Twentieth Century, A Young Photographer On A Train To Lucknow Suddenly Finds Himself In The Deep End Of Adrift In The Final.

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In Kesavan’s novel, among those who disappeared, one left a permanent shadow in the courtyard, the other remained only an image in the mirror, yet another turned into a character in a Forster novel, on every page Aziz having become Salman. Katherine rated it really liked it Apr 04, Looking through glass Mukul Kesavan Snippet view – References to this book Attia Hosain: He witnesses the killings and arrests of new acquaintances as the British forcefully end the Quit India campaign; the growing enmity between Hindus and Muslims; the missteps that could have easily been avoided; and the flight of thousands of terrified Muslims kesavam the Old Fort in Delhi as Independence leads to slaughter, lookking, and the establishment of Muslim Pakistan.

Looking Through Glass is a novel ,ooking looks to recreate history, though not in a manner as simple as you lolking deem. Mukul Kesavan is an Indian writer and essayist. Want to Read saving…. Corinna Byer rated it it was amazing May 06, Set amid the turbulence of Indian partition and independence, the hero of this tale is a young photographer who has a mysterious accident while testing out his new telescopic lens.

It is a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable novel, which does not leave you sombre or depressed.

Looking Through Glass by Mukul Kesavan

He falls into the year from India of the s and begins an amusing, but revealing tale of inevitabilities that were taking place in that period of struggle, where divisive tendencies had not only taken firm root, but were also raising their heads at ugly junctures in public and private life. Talented indian writer capable of unpretentious prose. Looking through Glass is a powerful and immensely entertaining novel set in the troubled s – the era of India’s partition and independence.

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Fiction, on the other hand, can merrily destabilise the past, bringing to life the infinite possibilities that exist at any given moment before subsequent events sift them out of collective memory. Ammi is the most original creation of the author, while the magicians, circus acrobats, hotel waiters and even Mohammad Ali Jinnah tend to get incorporated into the ambience of the paradigmatic post-modern novel about the subcontinent.

Looking Through Glass

A very happy birthday to our literary star Saumyakul. Kesavan looks through glass, but not darkly.

Through imagination and innovation, fiction tries to recreate those stories which are of little concern to historians — for history is not much but a political chronology, or a tale written about civilizations lost to time, or a record of battle won and lost. Doesn’t hurt that his politics are sound. Sue rated it really liked it Glase 02, Saad rated it liked it Apr 03, He teaches social history at Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi. A debate between sentiment and muukul in Bihar.

Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. Anah rated it really liked it Apr mukil, Lookinf waffling around as much as he does and concentrating at the oddest moments on his flatulence and excretions, he just paints a figure whom you really don’t want to follow around in his next noxious adventure.

Account Options Sign in. Aug 28, Radhika rated it did not like it Recommends it for: The story begins with promise and one feels that perhaps a coherent thread will emerge with a particular Dadi at the center of the struggle for the independence of India and the preceding and succeeding HIndu-Muslim tensions.

The hero is unconvincing and can’t glsss up his mind about anything really and this seems to be a malady that he might have caught from the author. By clicking on “Submit” you agree that you have read and agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Looking Through Glass – Mukul Kesavan – Google Books

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. When Kesavan’s photographer-narrator sets off on assignment to shoot pictures in Lucknow, he’s carrying his late grandmother’s ashes, as well as the camera lenses her pension helped pay for. mjkul


Of course history is an attempt to make the past stable and of course it is a lie,” William Carlos Williams had once written. The he I was really looking forward to reading this book because I came across it in a round about way while browsing the internet and read about the author and an interview with him. But he is constantly running away from events and people. No trivia or quizzes yet. At the core of this comic and extravagant novel that takes in its sweep many locations – Lucknow, Azamgarh, Benaras, Delhi, Shimla – there is a questioning of the kind of identity politics that puts religion at the centre.

A Delhi history professor’s promising but flawed first novel offers a what-if? And as he struggles to sidestep the juggernaut that will irrevocably divide Hindus and Muslims, we discover, often with a terrible poignancy, how much of what came to be in India need not have been. Leslie rated it it was amazing Jan 19, Rudre Malik rated it it was amazing Jan 28, Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts.

But despite the Rushdien resonances or is it because of them? This narrator is in a position to see people struggle, but by the virtue of his temporal vantage point, sees how futile these struggles are because he knows precisely what turn history will take.


Be the first to ask a question about Looking Through Glass. It is a fabulist’s recreation of the years between and in north India in a narrative that revels in its own throug.

Looking Through Glass by Mukul Kesavan. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

He almost acquires the role of the man of the house, till he starts on his way to Benaras, joining an anti-British rebellion en route. He is also the co-editor of Civil Lines, the widely respected journal of Indian writing in English.