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Delhi Adventures in a Megacity

review Delhi Adventures in a Megacity 103 Re His uest is the here and now the unexpected the overlooked and the eccentric All the obvious ports of call make appearances the ancient monuments the imperial buildings and the celebrities of modern Delhi But it is through his encounters with Delhi’s people from a professor of astrophysics to a crematorium attendant from ragpickers to members of a police brass band that Miller creates this richly entertaining portrait of what Delhi means to its residents and of what the city is. I really enjoyed this book It was already special to me since the author was the keynote speaker at my graduation in Delhi but on reading it I wish I had known about him before I had seen him speak At the time I didn t know much about him except that he had not been very positive about our school in his book so I knew a few people were uestioning why he spoke at our graduation but after reading the book I understand He really loves Delhi and not just the posh parts of Delhi or the history behind it but all of it This is very clear from the way he took the time to walk around the entire city in a spiral formation when walking in Delhi is usually not so easy and is a bit dangerous and his knee injury made it even difficult It is also clear from the way he describes the people and the scenery around him he sees humor all around him but unlike a lot of foreigners his humor isn t full of mocking He obviously cares deeply for the people of Delhi most especially the poor who have little voice and are often taken advantage of He also cares about Delhi s future as well as its past There was so much history in this book and it was really nice to revisit Delhi through the places in this book This book also tries to address the issues of modernity and globalization in a very open way The author doesn t think he has the answers to these problems or that we should just stop time now and not let Delhi move into the modern age but he also points out that if Delhi becomes ultra modern it might end up feeling just like every other city in the world and lose its character and personality People want shopping malls yet they take up space that once was uniue and might have been the site of a Mughal mosue I also like the way Miller was able to speak to the poor in this book and not just look at them and make his own faulty assumptions It is priceless to be able to communicate with someone so different from yourself I especially like the part where he sees the rag pickers at the garbage dump and at first has all these assumptions about how awful their lives are until he actually talks to some of them and learns that this is actually a pretty good job and the people who do it are normal people with children that even go to college and everything A really enjoyable book Even if you never go to Delhi it is still a great read

summary Delhi Adventures in a Megacity

review Delhi Adventures in a Megacity 103 BecomingMiller like so many of the people he meets is a migrant in one of the world’s fastest growing megapolises and the Delhi he depicts is one whose future concerns us all He possesses an intense curiosity; he has an infallible eye for life’s diversities for all the marvelous and sublime moments that illuminate people’s lives This is a generous original humorous portrait of a great city; one that unerringly locates the humanity beneath the mundane the unsung and the unfamili. I really wanted to love this book but I just couldn t get over the structure It s a series of vignettes of scenes and people encountered by the author as he walks in a spiral through Delhi It should be awesome but for some reason it wasn t While I got a few glimpses of what the city might be like most of the little anecdotes just didn t go anywhere and I was never able to establish any sort of emotional connection with the book or the author I slogged through it hoping that would change but it didn t

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review Delhi Adventures in a Megacity 103 A provocative portrait of one of the world’s largest cities delving behind the tourist facade to illustrate the people and places beyond the realms of the conventional travelogueSam Miller set out to discover the real Delhi a city he describes as “India’s dreamtown and its purgatory” He treads the city streets making his way through the city and its suburbs visiting its less celebrated destinations Nehru Place Rohini Ghazipur and Gurgaon which most writers and travelers igno. The author is an Englishman living in and having had a reasonably lengthy association with Delhi takes the approach of a 18th century French flaneur someone who walks aimlessly around a city Although not uite aimlessly he navigates Delhi on foot in a spiral pattern starting at Connaught Place working his way out anti clockwise On the way he visits many places some appear to be on a must see itinerary others are random and minor and many people Most are interesting some he makes only a short connection with others a lengthy interaction All of these contribute to a flavour of DelhiI was surprised to only enjoy this book as far as 3 stars The premise for the book is great most of the individual anecdotes are interesting the interludes are relevant and interesting It just didn t grab me There is nothing here that makes me want to explore Delhi than say Mumbai or Chennai or Bangalore all four are Indian cities I haven t been toHowever it was enjoyable and likable book and very easy to read I worked through it in a couple of days