The Age of Kali : Travels and Encounters in India Paperback
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
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date: 24/02/1999
- Category: Travel writing
- ISBN: 9780006547754
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Review by RajivC
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.