India books

This category contains 13 posts

Deranged Marriage

Anyone familiar with India will know how it treats its women. Where else might you find political parties fielding candidates who have been charged with rape – 27 of them in the last state elections? At a time when Indians of both sexes protest at the brutal and ultimately fatal rape just before Christmas of … Continue reading

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Shanti Bloody Shanti

Ever wondered where they come from, the dreadlocked, tattooed, shirtless beardies who occupy the bottom echelon of backpacking in India, absorbing half-baked philosophy from any willing sadhu to have caught the scent of some rupees, roaring about on Enfield motorbikes from one trance party to the next? Ever wondered what becomes of them? If you’re … Continue reading

Favourite books on Tibet and Dharamshala

A huge number of books has been published on Tibet, ranging across travel memoir, history, biography, polemics and philosophy. Some, without doubt, are more readable than others. The following is very much a personal selection, favouring books that I have enjoyed because of their profundity, their clarity in telling a complex story, or the moving … Continue reading

Cracking open the world

“I felt so fortunate that this story fell into my lap. As a writer, how often does that happen?” says Thomas K. Shor. In Sikkim, Shor was introduced to an elderly Bhutanese woman whose story would, he was told, make him question his sense of reality. In 1962 she had left her land and everything … Continue reading

Hitting boundaries for six

Rahul Bhattacharya, Pundits from Pakistan: On Tour with India The Indian subcontinent thrives on cricket. You can tell that the cricketing season in India has started by the ubiquitous clusters of people outside shops where a television set is tuned to a live cricket match. For days every fan becomes a coach – an expert on winning strategies. But … Continue reading

Far stranger than fiction

John Zubrzycki, The Mysterious Mr Jacob Ask the name of the biggest diamond in the world, and most people would probably say the Koh-i-Noor, the 109-carat rock that adorns the crown of the British Queen Consort. Fought over for centuries by kings and emperors in India before passing into the hands of the British, it … Continue reading

A suitable sahib

Reviewed by Catherine Anderson The women who populate the richly redolent pages of Anne de Courcy’s The Fishing Fleet: Husband-Hunting in the Raj had, we are led to understand, one overpowering goal, and one alone: to hook, and marry, an eligible bachelor. This apparently was the aim of any self-respecting Victorian miss who, if still unmarried at 22, was considered … Continue reading

Side on

Miranda Kennedy spent five years in Delhi as a  reporter. Her book, Sideways on a Scooter: Life and Love in India, tells the stories of women she befriended and their struggles with love and marriage. It is also an intriguing memoir about the challenges of being a female foreign correspondent. She spoke to Angus McDonald about the … Continue reading

Beyond the call centre

Anand Giridharadas, India Calling What does it feel like to be both inside and outside a culture? When Anand Giridharadas moved to Bombay after being raised in the US, he found that he had to reassess his understanding of a country he had always viewed from afar and through the eyes of an Indian American. … Continue reading

Beautiful Thing – Sonia Faleiro

I went to a dance bar in Bangalore a few years ago, having harassed my friend Vijay into taking me along for a look. The scene was booming then, in the wake of a crackdown in Bombay. But what confronted us was a surprise after all the lurid press reports. Fully dressed women, most in … Continue reading