'Clearing my throat I announce that I have
an idea for my next book.
My mother smiles encouragingly. My father shows no
sign of having heard. He is immersed in an editorial
no doubt another scathing comment on the state of
the nation. Bravely I continue. I say I am thinking of
writing a book about them.'
Strictly Personal: Manmohan and Gursharan is that book.
In 2004 Manmohan Singh became prime minister of India. Over the next ten years he led the country through opportunities and challenges
not without some controversy. But this is not that story.
This is the story of what went before and it is told by his daughter Daman Singh. It charts the journey of a young boy growing up in undivided India battling family hardship to pursue his dream of higher education determining his intellectual and moral compass and learning to live life on his own terms. It is equally about Gursharan Kaur the woman
with whom he made that life. Vivacious and talented Gursharan the centre of the family and of the circle of friends they shared. And about their three daughters Upinder Daman and Amrit growing up with a
resilient mother and a workaholic father who stepped into the limelight.
Based on conversations with her parents and hours spent in libraries and archives this honest and affectionate memoir provides new insights into the former prime minister and his wife. Moving
from Gah Nowshera and Peshawar; through Amritsar Patiala and Hoshiarpur; to Chandigarh Cambridge and Oxford; then New York Bombay and Geneva; and on to New Delhi this intimate portrayal of two lives is also the history of a nation unfolding over half a century.