Days of the Turban

Days of the Turban

Product ID: 17025

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Author: Partap Sharma
Publisher: Rupa
Year: 2005
Language: English
Pages: 385
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8129107104


Balbir is the youngest member of a wealthy Punjabi family, the descendant of a great Brahmin warrior dynasty. In the Punjab the family counts for everything. Balbir’s grandfather Lok Raj, still holds patriarchal sway over his extended family and their lands. Over-educated and bored with life in a Punjabi village, Balbir wants only to escape, to get away from the demands of his ever-present family. Most of all he would like to follow his glamorous elder brother Raskaan, who has escaped to Europe and become westernized and rich, a businessman in Berlin.

Searching for adventure and trying to raise the money to finance his escape, Balbir becomes entangled with local gunrunners. Venturing into the Golden Temple at Amritsar with a message for the Sikh extremists who have fortified it, he is held hostage to ensure that his cousin Satyavan will provide the arms the movement needs. But the family rallies round and the patriarch plots to rescue his beloved grandson.

Days of the Turban presents a picture of Indian society from the inside. It shows a country in transition, where the old values are under attack from new ideas but where, in the end, the traditions and ways of life of the past still have their place.


Unusual, dramatic, horrific.
-The Observer, London

A substantial work of fiction, written with vividness and vivacity.
-British Book News

As authentic as daylight. The language in keeping with the ethos of Punjab, is full-blooded, earthy, Days of the Turban presents a picture of Punjab’s rural society that leaves one numb with terror, Here in his book we come to grips with basic emotions. The drama builds up, it holds the attention of the reader by the margin of his mind. It is Hitchcock at his bet, Days of the Turban may well go down in Indian literary history as the most definitive work of fiction on Punjab, It is this deep backgrounding that is most impressive about this novel, so contemporary, so evocative that it gives one the goose pimples. It is packed with TNT and it explodes on every page.
-The Times of India

A good novel. It tells a tale, does not shy away from the ambiguities of a contemporary situation.
-Deccan Herald

Written with élan and an eye to detail and offers an insight into the going-on in the Punjab from a human point of view.
-Hindustan Times

Partap Sharma is a fine raconteur. He is at his best on home ground picturising rural Punjab.
-The Week

A tribute to Punjab, the book has an epic sweep.
-The Daily


The View From the Village
The Lion in His Den
Favour for Favour
A Connection in Europe
Getting it Out
Smugglers and Searchers
Foreign Hands and Indian Tricks
An Ant’s Eye View
The Saints go marching Out
One Man in His Time
The Little Dove
A Way of Life and Death
The Thread and the Sword
The European Gambit
A Plan and Preparation
Setting it Up
The Bathroom The Raskaan Built
The Panicking Ploy
An Old Man’s Old Ways
A Time of Blooding and Becoming