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#BookReview : Delhi Mostly Harmless by Elizabeth Chatterjee

27 Jan

There are reasons why we would pick a particular book to read, for me I loved the cover and the fact that it was about Delhi, a city I live in and have come to love but primarily the fact that the book seemed to talk about the harmless nature of the city which is quite contradictory of what is commonly perceived.

I have read expats account of India; like the movie Slumdog Millionaire, India is perceived as a land of slums, sewage and definitely poverty and bad hygiene and I expected this book to be no different. The basis of my notion was purely based on the fact that the protagonist is part Indian and comes to India for the first time. I have called Delhi my home in the last 3 years, before this I have lived in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai so it is kinda jarring to relate to Elizabeth’s description of Delhi as a city which has global appeal. This when Delhi is already in the limelight for being a global city and has the best infrastructure owing to its capital status. So I did have my misgivings about reading it any further.

The book did not turn out to be any different from what I thought it to be. But it was as you would expect it to be, an account of a foreigner. Like the protagonist, I too had to look for a place and zero in on one, the experiences are similar but the difference was the lack of frills given the basic lens through which we saw the city. Yes Delhi is tagged as an unsafe city specially owing its bad name to the recent brutal rape case but there is a side to it. In parts I felt the author was trying to either stick to norms or in other way break it. I had expected this to be a neutral account which it was not.
Pick this book up for a one time read, mainly to get a different perspective of a city which is much maligned.

Source: Publisher

Publisher: Random House

Genre : Fiction

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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in books

 

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