Rumi touches multiple aspects of this city of the legends, from its sufis to the literati and poets. From the culinary history of 'dilli' to the 'daastaan gous' and street artists. The surest sign of a great book is that it leads you on tangents, it forces you to edit your reading list and leaves you with a year's worth of material to explore and enjoy. It re-introduced me to Quratulain Haider's masterpiece novels and to Sarmad Shaheed's 'ruba'is'.
From Ustad Daaman the people's poet who settled in Lahore to Mir Baqir Ali the last daastaan gou of Delhi - Delhi by Heart will lead you on unforgettable journeys and leave you yearning for more. Oct 06, Tariq Mahmood rated it it was amazing Shelves: An absolute necessity in every Pakistanis bag when going to Delhi.
According to Raza, denial of shared history and excessive vendetta are the two fundamental behaviours which are a constant threat to the relationship between both India and Pakistan. Raza has approached this exact relationship by focusing on shared history, common culture, and similar religion, in this brilliant travelogue, which should accompany every Pakistani travelling to Delhi.
The book is replete with often subtle and direct An absolute necessity in every Pakistanis bag when going to Delhi. The book is replete with often subtle and direct to shared tastes in music, food, flora and fauna, and most of all religious flavour. Raza has tried to emphasise the importance of syncretistic based Sufi form of Islam as the the dominant and once all prevailing variant in India before the huge influx of petro dollars arrived from a Wahabi Saudi Arabia, especially in Pakistan. The intention is great but entirely romantic in my opinion as money is an all powerful agent especially in plutocratic based nations of India and Pakistan.
If Sufism has receded against the rise of Wahhabism then some fault must lie in its form as well. Otherwise why would any Sufi be attracted by a dry and tasteless Wahabi doctrine? The truth of the matter is that since a long time, we have hardly had any great Sufi masters anywhere near the likes of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia in either India or Pakistan, thus leaving a huge vacuum for Wahabi Islam as the vanguard of Indo-Pakistani Islam. Also Sufism is gravitating towards the West as well where the focus tends to be on the individual rather than any living master.
This makes perfect sense to me as the cornerstone of Sufism is deep knowledge, which is a lot more prevalent in the rich and diverse West. Thus the real bemoaning factor in the demise of Sufic Islam in Indo-Pakistan is lack of proper knowledge, for while knowledge cannot compete with money directly it can definitely better it in contentment and fulfilment, something money left on its own, can never hope to achieve. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the once rich depiction of political and spiritual in Delhi.
Both are symbiotic aren't they? Isn't it why Islam always seemed to follow in the wake of its conquests? Whatever the case maybe, this great era of Islamic power in Delhi must be celebrated in Pakistan. The mighty Muslim heroes have to be rekindled and illuminated for the Pakistanis have to learn a great deal from them.
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After All how do you explain a Muslim minority ruling a Hindu majority for so long in India if it was not due to the idealistic characters of these heroes? Raza touches on the two versions of history being taught in India and Pakistan which are more designed to appease the nation states rather than being objective in nature. For instance in Pakistan, Ghaznavi is feated for attacking Somnath for 17 times. The fact that he goes back to his home in Ghazni every time is hardly talked about. Should not the focus be more on icons like Babur who actually committed to India thus leaving a lasting legacy?
Delhi belongs to Nizam Aulia for sure, especially for every Sufi like me therefore I loved the mystical sound bites of Nizam's era, especially his relationship with the Turk of India, Amir Khusraw. Raza has to be credited for presenting this relationship similar to the famous Rumi Tabrez friendship. The major difference is that Tabrez disappeared from Rumi's life while Khusraw and Nizam remained inseparable all of their lives. Raza also touches on the pretty dismal state of Muslims in India who have yet to develop any political affiliation in the secularist parties in India.
Their numbers in all fields makes pretty poor statistics, barring only of Indian prisons, where they are over represented and constitute nearly 35 percent! When it comes to food, perhaps the best placed person to analyse and criticise the rich flavours of Delhi has to be an authentic Lahori like Raza Rumi. His one chapter on Delhi street food was a mouth watering and tummy rumbling experience for a poor starved Pakistani expat like me living in a thoroughly bland UK. It made me want to jump on a plane and get to old Delhi's famous Karim restaurant immediately.
Unfortunately most Lahoris have a huge weakness for sumptuous food, which I share proudly with author. All in all this book is an essential item of every Pakistani visiting Delhi.
Delhi by heart
Jun 28, Girl from Mumbai rated it it was amazing. The shared history, culture and food between Pakistan and India have been beautifully revived by Raza. He laments about the fact that as a country both India and Pakistan have not cared for our history and culture. From lost conquerors to slain emperors, forgotten poets and their beloved mushairas and the revered Sufi saints, Delhi has seen it all and Raza does complete justice in making the reader fall in love with this city that has now forgotten its own grandeur. The writing is lucid and clear and his passion about his beloved Delhi is contagious.
I felt intrigued and drawn in the world that he had woven and could not keep the book down even for a few minutes. I felt more enlightened about the history of the city my parents were born in and my mother misses so much. I would rate this book high on your reading radar if you are a Delhi lover. I did not want this journey in the heart of Delhi to end either Sep 15, Ranjit Powar rated it really liked it Shelves: Its like an account of a much awaited vacation back to one's paternal village.
Have arbitrary lines on a map ever been able to divide people and cultures born out of amalgamation of centuries down the time line of a continent? This is an easy flowing interactive narration of a Pakistani traveller's journey through Delhi's roads and streets; an intimate rendevouz of dialogue,tears and smiles. Its a nostalgic re visit to episodes of the city's history which the writer tries to re constuct through r Its like an account of a much awaited vacation back to one's paternal village.
Its a nostalgic re visit to episodes of the city's history which the writer tries to re constuct through remanants and monuments that survived the ravages of assaults of raids , neglect and time. I appreciate how Raza makes a conscious effort to remain unbiased, though there are subtle traces of justification about some commonly perceived grouses against the Muslim rulers. Aug 30, Saurabh rated it it was amazing. More like "from the heart", this is a lucid account of one of the oldest living capitals of the world. By no means a scholarly account this book relies on interactions on the go as its source but much less than diminishing its charm therein lies its appeal- in being a simple and passionate story which the author attempts to peel of layer by layer It has its inaccuracies, there are better researched books on Delhi out there, but this meandering tale still holds its own Wonder though if it a More like "from the heart", this is a lucid account of one of the oldest living capitals of the world.
Wonder though if it appealed to me so much cause I am a Dilliwala, how the wider South Asian readership receives it would be interesting Nov 02, Sameera Kamulkar rated it liked it. I would rate it 3. I enjoyed the perspective - and it opened my eyes in a lot of ways I am so glad books like these are being written, published and being read. I dream of being friends with our friends next door. I dream of being able to walk across to borrow a cup a of sugar. So does Raza Rumi.
Jun 20, Karandeep rated it it was amazing. I love this book. Raza Rumi has given such a detailed account of the relevant history that is associated with Delhi, I wish I could transport back in time and view the splendor of this city. If you have lived in Delhi at any point in your life then you should read this book. The everyday landmarks you may cross without giving a second thought could be of some prominent noble from back in the age. My only regret, I can't read Urdu else would have consumed all of poems, gazals and everything writte I love this book.
My only regret, I can't read Urdu else would have consumed all of poems, gazals and everything written about Delhi or by its once upon a time residents. It's a must read. An insightful look into the numerous facets of Delhi's past and present - from Ghalib to Hazrat Nizamuddin. I've always enjoyed books written with an outsider's perspective, especially when it comes to Delhi. Raza's first book is a must read for all those who want to understand the many pluralities of this wonderful city.
Raza's last lines are poetic and likely prophetic: Jan 19, Batool rated it really liked it. Twin hearts of the Indian subcontinent, Lahore and Delhi, continue to beat together despite the Radcliffe Line drawn in The intended cultural, communal and political divide seems to have widened fanned by pseudo nationalism. Raza Rumi , Pakistani diplomat explores the nooks and corners of old Delhi, digging into its bloodied past he examines the various historical dynasties that came, conquered, ruled and toppled mysteriously. Rumi explores the city, feeling at home in modern Delhi, despit Twin hearts of the Indian subcontinent, Lahore and Delhi, continue to beat together despite the Radcliffe Line drawn in Rumi explores the city, feeling at home in modern Delhi, despite the jingoistic political clashes that continue since Rumi's walks into the Sufi Dargah of Nizamuddin Auliya help him understand the 'Ganga Jumuna tahzeeb'the musical tradition springing forth , the love for Hindustani that lives on and common cultural threads that live and breathe despite that noxious political fumes.
Modern Delhi threatens to choke the old Delhi which is reminiscent of a beautiful past, he is amazed the plurality and harmony that might nurse and heal the wounds of the past. May 31, Mayank Gupta rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book was referred to me by Vikramjit Singh Rooprai when I proclaimed myself to be a Delhi fanatic during a discussion.
His recommendation created a hype inside me and the book truly lived up to it. I would blindly recommend this gem to anybody who is even mildly interested in Mughals, history or Delhi. The book not only discussed the history of the city in detail, but also explained the its impact in the history of India and Pakistan. The book covers hidden or relatively lesser known archit This book was referred to me by Vikramjit Singh Rooprai when I proclaimed myself to be a Delhi fanatic during a discussion.
The book covers hidden or relatively lesser known architectural wonders, political and social significance, rulers, fate, contribution to the culinary world and many more aspects of my favorite place.
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The book rightly depicts Delhi as a living soul. A beautiful and loving lady who has been ruled over, ruined and misunderstood by general population. Mar 02, Rajiv Chopra rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Any one interested in Delhi. This is an interesting book, and very well written indeed.
This is one from the heart, and so the book has been aptly titled.
Raza Rumi has written the book with a great deal of sympathy and feeling for Delhi, and this shows in the way that the book is written. Maybe because of his background, maybe because he is Pakistani, but he did manage to meet a lot of interesting people, who would otherwise be generally inaccessible.
There is a lot of focus on the Sufi and Mughal traditions in the city, an This is an interesting book, and very well written indeed. There is a lot of focus on the Sufi and Mughal traditions in the city, and less on the earlier history of the city. This is understandable, especially as the Mughal part of the history does dominate Delhi. However, this is a matter of personal opinion. I like his writing style, which is simple and heart-felt.
A very good book indeed. Aug 07, Dibyajyoti Sarma rated it liked it. That book is a clear model for Delhi By Heart and it proves to be its undoing. Granted, the book talks more about the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah than Dalrymple did When he discussion sufi saints, like Sarmad, Rumi is at his best , yet, the book cannot rise above being derivative. I think the book needed some massive editing. Yet, I would recommend the book for its unique point of view. Oct 17, Payal rated it it was amazing.
Found some useful nuggets of historical information. The author's passion and completeness in understanding Delhi from multiple angles is refreshing. Not an easy task of connecting the food, history, prominent people past n present, architecture past and present, books, etc of Delhi in a single book - very comprehensive. One would have wished for a little more organisation though, sometimes there is too much meandering and repititon.
Feb 16, Nandini rated it really liked it. A must must read - beautiful glimpses of history interspersed with balanced views - Icing on the cake - the references to various literary nuggets Only wish he had given the original shayaris along with the translations! Unputdownable- made me fall in love with delhi.
Apr 15, Vikas Datta rated it it was amazing. Sadia had married a Pakistani and spent quite some time in Islamabad and Karachi. She introduces Rumi to her mentor, the famous writer, historian and journalist Khushwant Singh, who too is an ardent admirer of Urdu.
His widely read columns are interspersed with translations from Urdu poetry. Another woman Rumi becomes friends with is the scholarly Rakhshanda Jalil, who at that time held a senior position at the reputed Jamia Milia, an institution that Rumi respects as much as the Jawaharlal Nehru University. Jalil has done much service to Urdu literature by translating some of its masterpieces into English. But the woman of letters Rumi really yearned to meet was none other than the late Qurratulain Hyder.
Review: Delhi by Heart: Impressions of a Pakistani Traveller by Raza Rumi - Newspaper - ywukakyzin.ml
She was evidently frail but there was nevertheless something electric in her manner and conversation which took me a while to register. He referred to cases of violence elsewhere in the subcontinent and explained that by and large, life goes on normally in Pakistan. In Dr Gupta I found a friend, but more importantly, my country has another well-wisher in the neighbourhood. It is not just eminent Dilliwalas who charm Rumi; there are some hardly known people as well who captivate him.
Bunty Singh, a taxi driver, is one such character. Another point worth noting is that Rumi recalls many people linked with Delhi who are no more. One wishes Rumi had transliterated the verses that he quotes in their original languages — Persian, Urdu, Hindi or Punjabi. One also notices occasional slips which should have been corrected in the editing of the book.
But these are minor blemishes in a book which is worth reading more than once. Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on Dawn. Most popular Zardari says 'unnamed powers' have no right to dictate nation's affairs.
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