Prakash Tandon's penchant for detail is that of a social historian. His flair for characterisation is that of a novelist. His use of words is deceptively simple. The result is that no matter where you start reading this gripping saga of 664 pages, you cannot stop. You want to go back for a description that recreates forgotten images specially for those who remember Punjab as it was in pre-partition India. You want to skip the pages to go forward to see where partition and the post-partition period led the protagonist. Everywhere, if you are a Punjabi you empathise and if you are not a Punjabi, you can be drawn into the sheer drama of social history so vividly recreated through live, living characters.
This is a three-volume autobiography revised and updated, comprising Punjabi Century (1857 to 1947), Beyond Punjab (1937 to 1960) and Return to Punjab (1961 to 1987). It is the seven-year period that Tandon has now added to the last book that has brought this engrossing saga nearer to our times. That leaves Tandon with yet another 13 years to capture for a literary work that...