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Our theme for the month of June is, “Be Right Back.” It brings back self-compassion and also takes us back to places that define our identities and help us see ourselves. In this theme, we have a few books that we have loved recently. These are South-Asian books that evoke nostalgia and momentarily take you back in time. After all, no matter where we go, all we are left with is stories.

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5 South-Asian books that evoke nostalgia

  1. The Perfumist, Alka Joshi: This was already a part of our theme mood board. Set in 70s in Shimla, Jaipur, and Paris, the characters give you all the feels. You will belong to their ups and downs, but mostly, it’s wonderful to be in places that we don’t always access in our daily lives. Going back to what truly matters, is really what takes us forward. You will find yourself nodding with Radha and her emotional upheavals.
  2. Amil and the After, Veera Heeranandani: This is a book accompanying the Night Diary and comes with so many nuances of the year right after the Indian partition. The sketches, the details, and all things Bombay, will have you hooked till the very end.
  3. Bindiya in India, Monique Kamaria Chedda and Debasmita Dasgupta: This picture book has multiple Hindi words throughout the text and likes to engage young readers with vivid illustrations. It’s firmly placed (in our minds at least) in big Shaadi’s from our childhoods.
  4. A Sky Blue Bench, Bahram Rahman: Part of this story comes from Bahram’s own experiences from 1993 when their classes built benches for kids who had been internally displaced during the Afghan war. It’s such a hard subject, but Rahman’s magic give us so much hope in the midst of a disaster.
  5. Morāmbā: A Tangy Story Of Childhood, Urmila Bilgi: Even if you didn’t grow up in Andheri East, Bombay, this book will firmly place you in 90s India like no other. Makes you wonder how we all grew up without devices, but with friends and tangy adults. So much to unpack in this little book that truly brings back summer vacation nostalgia for those who grew up in India.

South-Asian books that evoke nostalgia

Which books have you been enjoying this summer? Do share your favorites with us!

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