08 May, 2021

Our State

Much of this is familiar ground and most of the writing is pedestrian, though there are flashes of brilliance

Our State

If you are looking to dip into a book on various aspects of Indian life—the amusing and the depressing—this one is for you. There is Geeta Doctor on the Indian family, Namita Gokhale on marriage, desi style, Seema Goswami on the sari (which Sasthi Brata once described rather uncharitably as the winding sheet of sex), Srividya Natarajan on our obsession with gold (in 2005, an estimated 700 tonnes of the yellow metal was in Indian safes, he reveals, though we produce hardly any of the stuff), Renuka Narayan on “godmen”, Vikram Doctor on food, Punita Singh on Indian English, Indrajit Hazra on our fondness for defecating, peeing and spitting in public (the only really hilarious piece), Bachi Karkaria on our infuriating chalta hai attitude, Vidya Subramaniam on politics, Samrat on sex, Anand Sahay on dynasties (political, bureaucratic and filmy), Jerry Pinto on Bollywood, Ira Pande on babus, Soumya Bhattacharya on cricket and Arvind Krishna Mehrotra on his ramblings in Allahabad and an encounter with Mulk Raj...

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