Things to Leave Behind
A rich, panoramic historical novel shows you Kumaon and the Raj as you have never seen them. It is 1856, in picturesque Kumaon. History has already begun its steady march. Six native women clad in black and scarlet pichauras huddle around Naineetal Lake, attempting to cleanse it of threatening new influences. For, these are the days of Upper Mall Road (for Europeans and their horses) and Lower Mall Road (‘for dogs, servants and other Indians’). And this is the story of feisty young Tilottama Dutt, whose uncle hangs when he protests the reigning order-and her daughter, Deoki, who will confront change as Indians, and as women. Things to Leave Behind brings alive the romance of the mixed legacy of British-Indian past. Full of the fascinating backstory of Naineetal and its unwilling entry into Indian history, throwing a shining light on the elemental confusion of caste, creed and culture, illuminated with painstaking detail, here is a fascinating historical epic-and Namita Gokhale’s most ambitious novel yet.