India’s Westernized elite, cut off from local traditions, ‘want to write a full stop in a land where there are no full stops’. From that striking insight Mark Tully has woven a superb series of ‘stories’ which explore Calcutta, from the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad (probably the biggest religious festival in the world) to the televising of a Hindu epic. Throughout, he combines analysis of major issues with a feel for the fine texture and human realities of Indian life. The result is a revelation. 'The ten essays, written with clarity, warmth of feeling and critical balance and understanding, provide as lively a view as one can hope for of the panorama of India.’ K. Natwar-Singh in the Financial Times
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