Saeeda Bano was India’s first woman radio newsreader. You will soon be able to know about her life in a new book, originally written as a memoir in Urdu, Penguin Random House India announced on Monday. The book titled, “Off the Beaten Track”, has been translated into English by Bano’s granddaughter Shahana Raza from her 1994 memoir “Dagar Se Hat Kar”.
The memoir will take the readers through events of great personal impact in Saeeda Bano’s life. Events such as walking out of a suffocating marriage, witnessing the violence of the Partition, moving to Delhi from Lucknow as a single mother, eating toast with prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and falling in love with a married man — Nuruddin Ahmed, who would, in the course of their twenty-five-year relationship, become the Mayor of Delhi is all mentioned in the book.
“Unflinching and riveting, ‘Off the Beaten Track’ offers a personal account of the Partition and the burgeoning capital city of a newly-independent India. “A story of hope and resilience, it’s an unforgettable exploration of a fascinating woman; beckoning readers to reflect upon what it means to live and love passionately in the face of conformity and social pressure,” the publishers said in a statement. The book, co-published by Zubaan Publishers, will hit the stands on October 12.