In My Hands Today…

The Romantics – Pankaj Mishra

The young Brahman Samar has come to the holy city of Benares to complete his education and take the civil service exam that will determine his future. But in this city redolent of timeworn customs, where pilgrims bathe in the sacred Ganges and breathe in smoke from burning ghats along the shore, Samar is offered entirely different perspectives on his country. Miss West and her circle, indifferent to the reality around them, represent those drawn to India as a respite from the material world. And Rajesh, a sometimes violent, sometimes mystical leader of student malcontents, presents a more jaundiced view.

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In My Hands Today…

Butter Chicken in Ludhiana: Travels in Small Town India – Pankaj Mishra

In Butter Chicken in Ludhiana, Pankaj Mishra captures an India which has shrugged off its sleepy, socialist air and has become instead kitschy, clamorous and ostentatious. From a convent educated beauty pageant aspirant to small shopkeepers planning their vacation in London, Pankaj Mishra paints a vivid picture of a people rushing headlong to their tryst with modernity. An absolute classic, this is a witty and insightful account of India’s aspirational middle class.

Small and short conversations with different people about their mindset and living style are described in this book. The people includes young women from Jhansi, with dreams of winning a beauty pageant, and naxalites in Bihar trying to initiate a revolution, and a young man from Gujarat speaking of killing Muslims in public. The author has shared all his experiences through this book. Butter Chicken In Ludhiana: Travels In Small Town India is an interesting read with a rich variety of languages and cultures. The stories in this book are full of irony, humour, and violence. There are so many characters portrayed in this book, and Mr Sharma from Ambala stands out.

The lifestyles of both village and city folk are depicted by the author, in this book which narrates the differences between the dreams and psychology of these people. In Butter Chicken In Ludhiana, the author talks about the reason of unemployment, which is caused by small fast food chains in small towns.