The India Book Blog

I’ve been quiet on the blogging front lately, too busy eating, holidaying and writing other less pleasurable pieces!  I’ve also been reading plenty and its time to share some of that with you.  For my trip to India, I researched and read as much literature as I could.  Here are my recommendations:

A Passage to India by E M Forster.  The quintessential colonial classic was my kindle companion during my own passage through India.  Despite making me feel embarrassed to be British at times, it is cleverly derisive of the upper classes romping their way through foreign lands whilst keeping their minds firmly shut to alternative cultures.  Witty and perfectly composed, this was more enjoyable than Forster’s other works for me.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I didn’t realise this popular novel, another Booker winner, was about India until I started reading it. Whilst technically located all-adrift on the ocean waves, it is a very Indian novel in style and in its sense of drama.  The main character is raised at the Pondicherry Zoo on the south-east coast of India.  The plot centres on his shipwrecked adventure aboard a lifeboat he shares with Mr Richard Parker, the Bengal Tiger.  Surreal, symbolic and summing up with a twist, it is justifiably popular.

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The veins of the beast – Indian Rail Network

The Indian Railway Network may as well be its own country with a constitution, its own culture and its very own quirky characters.  Accordingly it deserves a blog of its own, dedicated to trying to convey my snippet of an experience aboard this monolithic beast that is the pulsating life veins of India.

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The train stations are like refugee camps, clogged with litter, inhabited round the clock by sleeping families, limbless beggars dragging across the stone floors, the obligatory cow crunching crisp packets and cackling macaques clambering the wires above. Continue reading