The Age of Kali : Travels and Encounters in India, Paperback

The Age of Kali : Travels and Encounters in India Paperback

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


William Dalrymple, who wrote so magically about India in 'City of Djinns', returns to the country in a series of remarkable essays.

Featured in its pages are 15-year-old guerrilla girls and dowager Maharanis; flashy Bombay drinks parties and violent village blood feuds; a group of vegetarian terrorists intent on destroying India's first Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet; and a palace where port and cigars are still carried to guests on a miniature silver steam train.

Dalrymple meets such figures as Imran Khan and Benazir Bhutto; he witnesses the macabre nightly offering to the bloodthirsty goddess Parashakti - She Who Is Seated on a Throne of Five Corpses; he experiences caste massacres in the badlands of Bihar and dines with a drug baron on the North-West Frontier; he discovers such oddities as the terrorist apes of Jaipur and the shrine where Lord Krishna is said to make love every night to his 16,108 wives and 64,732 milkmaids. 'The Age of Kali' is the fourth fascinating volume from the author of 'In Xanadu', 'City of Djinns' and 'From the Holy Mountain'.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416 pages, maps
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Travel writing
  • ISBN: 9780006547754



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The writing is nice, to start with. After a while, it began to pall on me. I agree that William has traveled all over the sub-continent, and has met people from all walks of life. However, a book full of anecdotes about the crap that happens in the Indian sub-continent, South Asia, palls after a while. It is a little bit like "Slum Dog Millionaire", the guys who make the stuff get rich about writing about India's crappy side, a side that is not hidden from the world's view.In the English, the word "Kali" is confusing, I thought it was about the Goddess Kali, not about India's KaliYug. It certainly is not about the flower - Kali either!You cannot write Hindi in the English script and hope to achieve clarity. In my view, while well written, this book does not provide clarity about anything Indian.

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