The Way Things Were is a family saga set in Delhi amid the commotion of the last 40 years of Indian history.
Skanda’s father Toby, the Maharaja of Kalasuryaketu who is a master of Sanskrit, has died, estranged from Toby’s mother and from the India he loved. Skanda is tasked with fulfilling Toby’s final wish and returning his ashes to his birthplace.
It is a journey that takes him from Manhattan to Delhi, and deep into the story of his family: in particular, to a night three decades earlier, when an act of shocking violence forced his parents’ fragile marriage apart.
Set at flashpoints in 1975, 1984, 1992 and the present day, the novel shows how personal stories are shaped by ancient history and volatile politics; how the life of a country and the life of an individual are irrevocably entwined.
Taseer, who lives between London and Delhi, describes his book as a novel about a love and history.