Delhi. Stolica ze złota i snu Epub ¾ Stolica ze


Delhi. Stolica ze złota i snu I left Delhi to come back home to the south in February last year, at which time Rana Dasgupta s Capital was the in book It tells you something about Delhi that there s such a thing as an in book , but that s not the point in those days, everyone with even mild literary inclinations was talking about it, either reading it and talking about not reading it I had been looking forward to it since Dasgupta s excellent long ago Granta essay which foretold the tome Even William Dalrymple, whose I left Delhi to come back home to the south in February last year, at which time Rana Dasgupta s Capital was the in book It tells you something about Delhi that there s such a thing as an in book , but that s not the point in those days, everyone with even mild literary inclinations was talking about it, either reading it and talking about not reading it I had been looking forward to it since Dasgupta s excellent long ago Granta essay which foretold the tome Even William Dalrymple, whose City of Djinns I still consider THE Delhi book, had called it the next great book on the city And then it started, the entire gamut of reviews and that a long awaited book like this receives, and I was immediately submerged in them I read a few of them, and found that the book divided opinion with severity It was either great or very bad, and there weren t a lot of in betweens I was influenced by a well argued, particularly scathing review and decided not to read it until I was sure it was worth my time.That was a mistake.Because when I did get around to reading Capital this year, I understood why it is a brilliant book and why it was attacked in the way that it was, and why it didn t win all the acclaim it should have This was arguably not just because of the issues it raises, which discomfitures the city s elite and their self image, but because this deep an analysis of a city and its people, broken and lost as they both are, is something few writers would endeavour to approach in this way, let alone do justice to Dasgupta is looking at Delhi differently, he wants the reader to as well not something all critics will be happy with.Capital is a disturbing book From the beginning, this point is made clear to us, that this is not going to be easy to read Delhi is not an easy city to live in, and the forces that sustain and propel it are not easily distinguished or explained This means that there will be a lot of conjecture, the imagination will have to take a few leaps Only then can we even partially come to terms with what the India s capital has evolved into The author stresses that this process hasn t ended the seemingly bottomless energy of this constantly changing city is what guides the narrative Remember, Dasgupta tells us as we read, this capital of yours is alive.The book starts with an introduction of how trade works in this city And slowly the narrator s vision takes us higher up this isn t the looking up from the ground approach of Barbara Ehrenreich s reportage, or the view from the grime of Old Delhi that Aman Sethi conjures up in A Free Man Dasgupta sees Delhi from up on high, as he comments on the forces that shaped the city and continue to do so Inevitably, the author starts with liberalisation and writes a beautiful chapter on the artists of Delhi s early 90s, the bohemians who first felt the change underfoot and tried to understand it with their art And then abruptly, he contrasts that time with the seemingly ideal less present, achieving an effect that he uses repeatedly in the book This contrast might be rather in your face set piece, but it is necessary Delhi can never be understood without going back to its past Rana Dasgupta talks to Delhi s nouveau rich, all endlessly and distressingly drawn from a similar set of people and circumstances the post partition frenzy of finding financial security by any means possible, a mood that has never left this city, and continues still,than anything else, to define it Delhi s wealth is not independent of location, Dasgupta reminds us again and again Delhi s rich are rich precisely because they find and in a lot of cases, found themselves in a unique setting of time and place, the likes of which are exceedingly rare and they took advantage of it Of course, this isn t to generalise A lot of people built perfectly honourable, institutions, establishments and businesses in this melee But Dasgupta isn t talking about them He s talking about the ones who recognised the opportunity for what it was a gold rush, and set about mining it Dasgupta posits that, knowing where they came from, this wasn t surprising or even unnatural Except that Delhi forgot when to stop Crony capitalism that feeds on the abundant political connections available, and inflated real estate, is where Delhi s money comes from, and neither of these avenues is for the faint of heart For Delhi s elite though, the ability and the resolve to wade through this muck comes naturally.Dasgupta s sentences are sometimes magnificent, sometimes brutal and edgy but seldom inane His eyes are that of a novelist s, looking at a landscape at large but resting on the innocuous and the mundane, before joining the two dots together and making an observation that astounds and delights at the same time Though there are instances in which his arguments seem overstretched, at no point is his tone anywhere near unbelievable As I mentioned, Delhi is not an easy place to understand A leap of faith is necessary.In the end, as even Dalrymple did, Dasgupta returns to ancient Delhi, and writes a moving elegy to the city s threatened and rapidly fading water sources, the natural resource that first made the city possible In perhaps the only tone of reassurance, however morbid, that he offers us in the whole book, the author talks of the almost eternal perpetuity of the old Mughal capital The city we now call Delhi is the most modern, though perhaps the most lawless, incarnation of the place that has seen so much and endured, across centuries, kingdoms, sultanates and governments And it will outlive us too, and what we have made out of it There will come a time in Delhi when this will be the past too, and the river which gave it birth will still flow on, winding its way through the plains of a great, ancient civilisation Perhaps justice will yet be done Rana weaves a web of exquisite prose to study what capitalism has done to Delhi a city which had previously been traumatized by other catastrophic historical forces like imperialism and partition The author alternates between personal interactions with a wide range of faces from a wife beating billionaire to a young activist working in the slums and deep thoughts on what the future of the Global City will be He paints a bleak future for the city and we can only seek solace in the fact tha Rana weaves a web of exquisite prose to study what capitalism has done to Delhi a city which had previously been traumatized by other catastrophic historical forces like imperialism and partition The author alternates between personal interactions with a wide range of faces from a wife beating billionaire to a young activist working in the slums and deep thoughts on what the future of the Global City will be He paints a bleak future for the city and we can only seek solace in the fact that out of trauma, such meaningful works are written This book is about Delhi post 1990s Rana Dasgupta successfully records the transition of Delhi from a sleeping monster to a raging one The city s landscape has changed in unprecedented ways new jobs, multinational companies, escalation in prices of real estate Apparently, this has also impacted its people in different ways.So this book tells the story of Delhi and people who live in it He meets some of Delhi s ultra rich and talks to them about their ambitions and plans for the future, what This book is about Delhi post 1990s Rana Dasgupta successfully records the transition of Delhi from a sleeping monster to a raging one The city s landscape has changed in unprecedented ways new jobs, multinational companies, escalation in prices of real estate Apparently, this has also impacted its people in different ways.So this book tells the story of Delhi and people who live in it He meets some of Delhi s ultra rich and talks to them about their ambitions and plans for the future, what is it that moves these rich men to become richer, to work harder and so forth Some of these stories give a glimpse of what is going on underneath Delhi s so called material success In these stories, one can see how culture, religion and global capital intersect and produce newer forms of being some of this is, of course, good and some is undoubtedly challenging For instance, while the city is developing in all directions, its middle and upper middle classes are growing richer they show complete disregard toward the poor In some queer way, in a profit driven society, almost every body, irrespective of where one is in the social hierarchy, suffers the brunt of it.Among some of the better stories, I particularly liked the one about the fashion designer Manish Arora He grew up in an ordinary middle class household, and unlike many of his generation he took an unusual path and became an internationally renowned fashion designer Manish is openly gay Likewise, there are stories of women who came out in a big way and joined all sort of professions, which, until now, are the stronghold of men There is one exemplary story of a young girl from a very ordinary background who works full time for the rights of slum dwellers Usually, it is the privileged women who go in their big cars to help the poor.There are also some interesting explanations about why Delhities behave in the way they do For instance, why Delhi s Punjabis, a wealthy community, are so boisterous, loud and go beyond their pockets when it comes to celebrations of all kind Rana claims that this is their way of dealing with the trauma of partition they still carry within them that pain, and their excessive focus on celebration, partying is a way to alleviate the pain In another context, Rana Dasgupta wonders at how come people are so oblivious to the state and have almost zero level faith in it abilities to protect them Even a casual look at Delhi s streets, this is also true of other major Indian cities, one sees that people are quite oblivious to the miseries of those living o streets The author believes that this is because of the Indian caste system People belong to their caste first it is caste that provides them a safety net and people drive their sense of who they are through caste.The author only moved to India in recent years In his manner of speech and behaviour, he comes across muchlike a Brit than an Indian In parts, his explanations of people and their habits reeks of biases and prejudices For instance, his attitude toward Delhi s elite is quite sympathetic They are somehow above his critique as if by critiquing them he will harm himself.My favourite chapter in the book is the last one on water systems in Delhi This is one of the most crucial chapters in the book Indian urban centres will have huge problems on water front Here we see how wrong policies, greed can lead to a disaster of sorts In the past, the water was used and stored in a way that suited to its geography In this chapter, it is explained in a great detail how it worked With the dawn of pipelines and several decades later the eruption of industrial units around Delhi, we have effectively choked its waters its rivers have been tamed into drains toxic ones This aspect of Delhi is, perhaps for other India urban centers too, scary because no one is paying attention as if Delhi can do without water as if coco cola will fulfill Delhi s water deficit.Of course as a reader one can easily explicate oneself because Delhi s problem are after all only Delhi s problems This is only partly true If one just scratches a bit, one sees how one is playing a part A disappointing work by an outsider trying to understand one of the major cities of the world through the eyes of its rich, if not its richest The work is long, verbose and offers little that is not already known to most This is not to say that there are no occasional flashes of insight and interest For example, in the middle of the book where the author has a long conversation with a social worker and residents of a slum within the city and in the last chapter where he beautifully describes A disappointing work by an outsider trying to understand one of the major cities of the world through the eyes of its rich, if not its richest The work is long, verbose and offers little that is not already known to most This is not to say that there are no occasional flashes of insight and interest For example, in the middle of the book where the author has a long conversation with a social worker and residents of a slum within the city and in the last chapter where he beautifully describes the river Yamuna which flows across the city To the non Indian reader, the book provides a dystopian view of one of the emerging centres of world capitalism, almost as a reassurance of the West s continued dominance.The most fundamental flaw of the book is that it seeks to understand how the city s rich imagine their city The rich do not lack the means to convert their imaginations into reality, whether these be opulent malls or gated communities It is the poor and the dispossessed whose imaginations need words to be described It is an unfortunate reminder of how jaded Indian society is when you see all the reviews below panning this book as stuff we ve heard before Seriously Is everyone so resigned to living in a gangster state that the lucid and lurid anecdotes in this compendium no longer make people tremble with rage and indignation Have we all just decided to meekly allow ignorant fools with no shame to take over Delhi and rule it with all the wisdom of a poorly toilet trained 3 year old, crapping wherever It is an unfortunate reminder of how jaded Indian society is when you see all the reviews below panning this book as stuff we ve heard before Seriously Is everyone so resigned to living in a gangster state that the lucid and lurid anecdotes in this compendium no longer make people tremble with rage and indignation Have we all just decided to meekly allow ignorant fools with no shame to take over Delhi and rule it with all the wisdom of a poorly toilet trained 3 year old, crapping wherever they wish Sure, there is nothing in this book that any well read student of contemporary India does not know about It s the prose and the theoretical yarn that Dasgupta weaves that makes it truly compelling His ability to thread all the multifaceted symptoms of the ill city together into a comprehensive diagnosis is what is worth reading I m not sure I agree 100% with his analysis, but that is a moot point, as I found his argument enchanting and thought provoking 4.5 5 This is one of the best travelogues I have read it sometimes read like literary fiction with beautiful poetic passages, there were great observations and insights and the sheer variety of ppl 20 who narrated their stories mostly in their own words The author perfectly understood where and how much commentary was needed And the commentary was not partisan, it was not filled with bitter anger nor was it filled with sly flowery propaganda of any sort.This book had been on my to read li 4.5 5 This is one of the best travelogues I have read it sometimes read like literary fiction with beautiful poetic passages, there were great observations and insights and the sheer variety of ppl 20 who narrated their stories mostly in their own words The author perfectly understood where and how much commentary was needed And the commentary was not partisan, it was not filled with bitter anger nor was it filled with sly flowery propaganda of any sort.This book had been on my to read list for sometime and I used to think How can u write a book on a single city spanning 450 pages Afterall, I have read travelogues of 200 300 pages spanning entire India and sometimes even entire continents But, to the author s credit the book rarely felt repetitive and the stories provide an exhaustive , complete picture of 21st century Delhi from bureaucrats, slum dwellers, activists, businessmen, super rich crony capitalists, housewives etc You get a great sense of how Delhi functions And as a bonus, he has also covered its history with chapters on 1857, 1911, 1947 and the anti Sikh pogroms in 1984 And I dont remember if I have highlightedtimes or postedstatus updates for a book.Recommended reading Po wprowadzeniu otwartej gospodarki rynkowej w Indiach zapanowa chaos niszczenia i tworzenia slumsy i targowiska by y burzone, a na ich miejscu wyrasta y centra handlowe i apartamentowce, powstawa y osza amiaj ce fortuny, m odzi ludzie robili zawrotne kariery, a luksus by na wyci gni cie r ki Ale transformacja da a te pocz tek ogromnym nier wno ciom spo ecznym, a przemoc na ulicach osi gn a niespotykan dot d skalRana Dasgupta pisze o wsp czesnym Delhi z liryzmem i empati , ws uchuj c si w g osy jego mieszka c w miliarder w i biurokrat w, handlarzy narkotyk w i przedsi biorc w, mieszka c w slums w i pracownik w mi dzynarodowych korporacji S pokoleniem na zakr cie, a ich historie sk adaj si na obraz miasta i spo ecze stwa pogr onego w wirze transformacji Delhi to literacki portret jednego z najszybciej rozwijaj cych si wsp cze nie miast, ale to tak e opowie o tym, co by mo e czeka nas wszystkich to b yskotliwa analiza rozwoju i przysz o ci globalnego kapitalizmu This is a searing read Dasgupta puts together a patchwork of intricate stories of various inhabitants of Delhi, applying at once the keen eye of a reporter, the insight of a psychologist, the lyricism of a poet We hear the perspectives of overt Bentley driving, farmhouse hopping billionaires as well as the shadow billionaires that are refused car loans because of how little income they actually declare of the patients turned victims of Delhi s corporate hospitals whose doctors are ince This is a searing read Dasgupta puts together a patchwork of intricate stories of various inhabitants of Delhi, applying at once the keen eye of a reporter, the insight of a psychologist, the lyricism of a poet We hear the perspectives of overt Bentley driving, farmhouse hopping billionaires as well as the shadow billionaires that are refused car loans because of how little income they actually declare of the patients turned victims of Delhi s corporate hospitals whose doctors are incentivised by the revenue they bring in of newly liberated women who may be empowered at their workplace but suffer humiliation in their own homes of Delhi s itinerant slum dwellers whose townships are constantly razed to the ground to make room for new developmentsof people who get rich quick by fitting themselves somewhere into the vast framework of black money and bribery that underpins the whole city andThe snapshots are vivid, detailed and disturbing and are set within context of historical stories such as that of Indira Gandhi s centralisation of power, to which the author alludes most of the ingrained corruption in India today as well as as modern ones such as that of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, an illustration of the extent to which the needs of the poor were swept aside in the name of everything modern, as well as the scale of corruption in the city The author claims several times to have a complicated love hate relationship with the city and even the last line turns quite suddenly positive Delhiis one of the most beautiful places on earth These positive claims are the only ones that feel somewhat jarring and out of place because they appear to have so little basis within a picture that varies from depressing to downright frightening The book is quite long and paints maybe an extreme picture, but I found it to be a worthwhile read Written from the point of view of a foreigner, this book attempts to outline the character of Delhi the various tragedies, developments and incidents that have made it what it is today The author talks about the Mughal period, British period, 1947 partition, post partition, IT boom, 1970 Sikh riots, patriarchy, real estate and housing, water crisis trying to make the reader understand how different leaders and governments have exploited various aspects of the city For someone who has lived Written from the point of view of a foreigner, this book attempts to outline the character of Delhi the various tragedies, developments and incidents that have made it what it is today The author talks about the Mughal period, British period, 1947 partition, post partition, IT boom, 1970 Sikh riots, patriarchy, real estate and housing, water crisis trying to make the reader understand how different leaders and governments have exploited various aspects of the city For someone who has lived here for 24 years now but has remained ignorant of its past, this was an eye opener it s amazing to know how much this city has endured I really enjoyed the Delhi Sultanate chapters, so much so that I decided to visit some of the monuments that I had never cared about before I also see myself developing a newfound interest in Urdu, thanks to a chapter dedicated to it.However, I felt that some paragraphs in this book are quite verbose, boring and unnecessary The author s analysis make chapters too long, and I felt lost between paragraphs, sometimes re reading or entirely skipping some of them I feel I would have enjoyed the book muchand finished it much earlier, had it been shorter Nonetheless, it was a great read, and I would recommend it to anyone trying to understand not just this beautiful city, but the post partition India as well To cut the long story short, this book could have easily done with a hundred pages less There s a lot of historical gleaning eventually ending up as rambling While it s good to see how Rana Dasgupta has tried to form the picture of something going through systemic decay, repeating that in almost every chapter with a curious tone of whining doesn t do much justice to the reader Capital is surely a very good attempt at accounting the tale of Delhi as it is and were, but perhaps needed a tighter To cut the long story short, this book could have easily done with a hundred pages less There s a lot of historical gleaning eventually ending up as rambling While it s good to see how Rana Dasgupta has tried to form the picture of something going through systemic decay, repeating that in almost every chapter with a curious tone of whining doesn t do much justice to the reader Capital is surely a very good attempt at accounting the tale of Delhi as it is and were, but perhaps needed a tighter narration to make it a better read


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *