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'Every woman loves Nehru'

It was a morning of pulp romance meeting Partition history. Alex von Tunzelmann's book, Indian Summer, tells three tales: of a marriage (Edwina and Louis Mountbatten), of a relationship (Edwina and Jawaharlal Nehru) of the events leading up to and coming after the Partition of August 15, 1947. Mayank Austen Soofi writes.

books Updated: Jan 25, 2011 02:58 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi

It was a morning of pulp romance meeting Partition history. Alex von Tunzelmann's book, Indian Summer, tells three tales: of a marriage (Edwina and Louis Mountbatten), of a relationship (Edwina and Jawaharlal Nehru) of the events leading up to and coming after the Partition of August 15, 1947.

Punctuated with hearty applause, the session graduated from the titillating to the cerebral. "So were Edwina and Nehru in love?" asked the moderator journalist Karan Thapar. "Undoubtedly," reponded Tunzelmann

Thapar: "Were they lovers?"

Tunzelmann: "Does it matter?"

Thapar: "It doesn't but it's desperately interesting."

"It's a 64 million rupee question. People know the answer. We know both had an intimate relationship. There have been photographs where you can see both touching each other. It was true love, whatever that is," she replied.

On being asked if the film being planned on her book would ever be made, the author said, "The film can be revived, though I'm not sure it would be made in India or not."

Edwina wasn't the only woman besotted with Nehru. "He wrote so brilliantly. He is my political hero. It's impossible to be a woman and not love Nehru," said the historian earnestly.