Monday, August 9, 2010


The inspid and the worthy - Krishnan Srinivasan in The Statesman, August 7, 2010

Come, Before Evening Falls by Manjul Bajaj is also a worthy title. A love story set in pre-World War II Rohtak among Jats, it deals with a young woman torn between her first love of the local school teacher and her family ties..... The author is good at narrative and dialogue and steers clear of clich├ęs..... Reminiscent of Khushwant Singh’s early work, which is to the author’s credit, she should now work in a contemporary setting.......READ MORE

When love conflicts with 'honour' - Aradhika Sharma - in Spectrum, THE TRIBUNE, March 28, 2010

THE theme of the book is honour — of men, communities and the honourable choices that we do or do not make. The question that Manjul Bajaj raises is, is it OK to compromise your honour even if it is for the most beautiful, noble end? Should honour be sacrificed under any circumstances? She manages to convince you that....READ MORE

Tehelka Magazine, Vol 7, Issue 07, Dated February 20, 2010

BILLED AS “probably the first” Indian love story set against Khap Panchayat politics, the novel is a mixed affair. On one hand, the star-crossed lovers trope has been worn to a literary nub. On the other, the frank pro-woman message that emerges from the jumble of Jat-ness is encouraging.

Rooted In Rurality - Amandeep Sandhu in BUSINESSWORLD, January 29, 2010

With her debut work, Manjul Bajaj has chosen to open a new domain in Indian writing in English; the Haryana Jat culture... The story is located in the early 20th century but is as relevant in today’s atmosphere as well with its representation of honour killing and struggle for identities. At one level the book is Raakha and Jugni’s love story. At another level......READ MORE

Difficult Decisions - Gita Aravamudan in DECCAN HERALD, January 24, 2010

Come, Before Evening Falls, Manjul Bajaj’s novel set in 1909 in the Rohtak Division of the erstwhile Punjab province is a story about forbidden love in the Jat community. Woven into the plot is the terrible practice of honour killing. Something which, sadly, exists even today......READ MORE

Off The Shelf - VERVE Volume 18, Issue 1, January 2010

Born in the village of Kala Sand, surrounded by legends, pale-eyed dadis, and the vicious fangs of the Khap panchayat; a story of Lolitaesque beauty and forbidden love enfolds in a smooth, fluid voice.

A Heart-warming Tale – Aroma Sah in HT CITY, January 15, 2010

Village life and customs unknown to city dwellers are brought alive in the book. Author Manjul Bajaj paints the picture of a small village which boasts an illustrious history that gets it the name Kala Saand.......READ MORE

Saaz Aggarwal in MIDDAY, Mumbai, Sunday, January 03, 2010

Romancing The Past

This book could have been a Mills and Boon if it had had a different sort of ending. It could have been mindless chicklit if it didn't have real people, accurate observations and hadn't dealt with relevant issues. It could have been a historical novel if its milieu didn't reflect current reality. It could have been one of those "Hey check this, I'm so cool, I use Indian English,yo!" books if it hadn't been so well written.

Despite its depth and seriousness, it's a racy novel that anyone could enjoy..........READ MORE

VIVACITY Monday, December 21, 2009 THE PIONEER

Love in Tau Territory

Manjul Bajaj’s novel about honour and love in a turn-of-the-last-century Jat village gives another twist to the familiar story about the obstacle course race that falling in love can become, says Shana Maria Verghis speaking to the author....She has based the plot of her first novel, Come, Before Evening Falls (by Hachette), where love and honour spar with each other, around a pair of Jat lovers, Jugni and Raakha......READ MORE

Times Of India Crest Edition 19 December 2009,

In hinterland Haryana, falling in love can get you killed. In those parts, khap caste) panchayats are the law. And the wise old men, hookah in hand, are its keepers. Anyone who dares go against them can be battered to pulp, have their face blackened and asked to leave the village. And those are the lucky ones. The novel, Come, Before Evening Falls, takes you a hundred years back to the same badlands of the erstwhile Punjab province with a violent love story and tells it with sensitivity. Honour killing has certainly graduated from the inside pages of newspapers to literature.


Monideepa Sahu in KITAAB

Manjul Bajaj’s debut novel is a strong, passionate story well told. The author offers insights into the culture, history and psyche of the Jat people of northern India’s heartland. Set in a Jat hamlet near Delhi in 1909, this is a tale of proud, upright men and women who will die to uphold the honor of family, community and country. The subtle feminist approach works well with full blooded women juxtaposed against well fleshed out and likeable male characters.....READ MORE

Niranjana Iyer in Brown Paper on DESI PUNDIT

Come, Before Evening Falls takes place in the village of Kaala Saand in Punjab in 1910, and features characters belong to the Jat(t) community, an agrarian sect with a long tradition of working in the armed forces. I was agreeably surprised by this novel setting— most contemporary Indian writing in English is remorselessly urban, as is media reportage; it’s all to easy to forget that seven in every 10 Indians live in a village. Bajaj writes about the period knowledgeably and with affection, and the book gives a real feel for village life a century ago.... Bajaj has done some impressive research, and this reader is the richer for it.

Of course, none of this would count if the story didn’t grab me...READ MORE

Julia Dutta on SULEKHA

Set in the Rotak Division of erstwhile Punjab Province in the year 1909, Come, Before Evening Falls is the story of two lovers, Jugni and Raakha who are poised by destiny to have inherited the same sense of loss right from their birth and who find themselves in the village named after the bull who died there – Kala Saand..... READ MORE

Dipali Taneja on OF THIS AND THAT

Manjul Bajaj's book, "Come, Before Evening Falls" has the distinction of being the first book I ordered from Flipkart!
That apart, I read it soon after our July visit to Bhutan, so the opening chapter, in which the founder of the village travels to Bhutan for the second time in his life (in what was then a journey of several months) immediately resonated with me.
It was only on visiting Bhutan that I learned that it is a largely matrilineal society). Set in the Haryana of a century ago, in a village that is named after a stud bull, Kala Saand, this book depicts rural Indian life with great authenticity.

Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar on HANSDA? YES, YES

Newspapers and TV channels are full of stories of young men and women being murdered for daring to fall in love within the same gotra. ‘Come, Before Evening Falls’ tells the story as it had been a century ago, a history of this trend, perhaps. But mind you, this novel is not that simple. I have been reading Manjul Bajaj for a long time. She has a blog on and her writings are among the most delightful ones I have read. ‘Come, Before Evening Falls’, her first novel, is no different. Be it the language, the characters, or the situations, Bajaj has a very balanced serving of each in the pages of this book, and in a very admirable way......READ MORE

Payal Dhar in WRITESIDE.NET The Price Of Honour

Manjul Bajaj's writing style is lucid and in Come, Before Evening Falls she has perfected the art of "show, don't tell" quite flawlessly. As Jugni watches and wonders about the power play that takes place among the women in her family, her innocence coupled with her keen intelligence give her a perspective that helps us, the reader, piece the background together.... The narration literally takes you under their skin till you can feel the rustle of the grass against your ankles, smell the cowdung cakes, hear the temple bell...........READ FULL REVIEW

Monday, July 12, 2010

Readings and Interviews

There have been quite a few readings for small groups in the past the few months. It is always a pleasure to interact with readers. Here’s one report from the students of THE INDIAN SCHOOL and another from a Book Club Member

Interviews have been few and far between but they've covered a great deal of ground between them. The one with the INDIA ABROAD magazine delves into the social and historical context of the novel. The one with Writer and Blogger John Mathew explores the writing life. While the one with MaxiMum Buzz talks about being a woman and a writer.

Thursday, February 4, 2010



Saturday, July 17, 5pm at the Vivekanand Library, GTB Complex, Bhopal. Book Reading and In Conversation With Dr. Vinay Misra, HOD Psychology, Bhopal School of Social Sciences and Dr. Gyanendra Gautam, Professor Sociology, Barkatullah University, Bhopal.


Book reading and in conversation with Prof. Nishi Pandey on Thursday, May 6th, 5.30 pm at Universal Booksellers, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow. See news and pictures of the event in the Lucknow Times


Love in the time of honour killing.

February 22nd - high tea starting at 6.30 pm followed by uplifting conversation as author and friend Daman Singh takes me through a Q & A about the book.



Feb 12th – 6.30 pm – 7.30 pm

David Sassoon Lawns

Featuring Mohyna Srinivasan, Ravi Subramanian, Bulbul Sharma and Manjul Bajaj – moderated by Samit Basu

Monday, December 28, 2009


The book launch took place on December the 16th
at New Delhi at The Claridges. A big thanks to
Kishwar Desai for unwrapping the book and doing the
Q & A with the author, to the Hachette team for
the superb arrangements and to everyone who came
and made the occasion a memorable one for me.

In Conversation With Kishwar Desai

You can follow other segments of the evening's conversation HERE

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Come, Before Evening Falls Trailer

Press the PLAY > button above to watch the video

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Village Of The Black Bull

Some stories never grow old. Each telling renders them larger and more beautiful, as each listener leaves in them a bit of his own heart, a slice of her own soul. The story of Kala Saand was a story like that. It entered right into Jugni's heart and made her swell up from inside....

....The village was only fifty years old and it was named after its founder Risaldar Naib Singh's favourite bull. The Risaldar was most famously known throughout Rohtak district for the wild eccentricity of his whims...

Press the PLAY> button below to hear the Kala Saand story in the author's own voice:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Come, Before Evening Falls

In a society governed by strict marriage rules and the diktats of the khap panchayat,  Jugni knows that love is not an option. She must not meet Raakha again. And yet....
Written in simple, spare and elegant prose Come, Before Evening Falls is an unflinching look at the price paid for love in a land where all romance is viewed as an unforgivable trespass. Set in the Rohtak Division of the erstwhile Punjab Province in the year 1909 – but as relevant today as a hundred years ago- the book paints a poignant picture of a young Jat girl torn between family loyalty and the undeniable impulse of love.

a novel by manjul bajaj

Hachette India
 Pages: 240 Price: Rs.295