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In a PDFEPUB #188 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 Delhi Adventures PDF way through the city and its suburbs visiting its less celebrated destinations Nehru Place Rohini Ghazipur and Gurgaon which most writers. 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

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Delhi Adventures in a Megacity

D of what the city is 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 unfamilia. If Delhi ever needed a geometric metaphor it would have to be the circle From the different dynasties and political parties that rose and descended along its Ferris wheel of power to the ring roads that serve as the arteries for navigating the city Delhi s circularity is both ancient and modern In Delhi Adventures in a Megacity Sam Miller redefines this circle in an entirely refreshing way A modern day fl neur he sets out to explore Delhi in spirals and with no fixed agenda His resultant experiences range anywhere between the hilarious and the blood curdling Written in a voice that s at once empathetic and snarky the book is a delightful mix of travelogue memoir reportage and social commentary Miller s discoveries are uniue foreign not only to transient tourists but even to many old time residents His insider outsider worldview lends his vignettes a special lens

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And travelers ignore 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 Adventures in a PDF #203 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 an. This is an offbeat but delightful book about Delhi capital of India Sam Miller is British even when his passport states Person of Indian Origin married to an Indian a resident of Delhi conversant in Hindi Here he guides the reader on a walking tour around the city along segments of a large spiral path unwinding from its center Some travelogues may be padded for extra bulk but not this one chockfull of charming encounters unpredictable incidents and unconventional landmarks After a slow start the book levels at a hectic pace better read just one chapter at a sitting or you could overdose on trivia footnotes and web links In a way each chapter is a separate story Miller writes in an informal homespun style illustrated by crude hand drawn maps and grainy black and white photographs Delhi is an ancient city at one time arguably the largest on Earth a title it now seems anxious to regain although rivalry for that uestionable distinction is steep especially from Chonging in China Between then and now Delhi has survived but did not thrive The most recent blow was the collapse of the Great Indian Mutiny of 1857 aka the first India war of independence when British soldiers conuered Delhi deposed the Mogul and shifted the country s capital to Calcutta Delhi s eminence was restored at the Great Durbar of 1911 when Britain s King George the 5th visited Delhi The British then built New Delhi outside the old walls later swallowed by a megalopolis expanding at half a million per year A walk around Delhi is a good introduction to India s people to India s culture and to the many uirks of its society One reads of modern crematoria maintained by the government but hardly used because most Indians believe that unless a body is properly cremated on a pyre of wood its soul is not reincarnated but roams the world as a disembodied ghost The country is in the midst of a great transition villages empty into cities bullock carts are replaced by urban rapid transit office buildings adjoin open sewers Delhi s Yamuna river is one and personal enterprise thrives next to a giant civil service The culture is ancient and diverse Numbers for instance India gave us not only the concept of zero but its language includes sava meaning one and a uarter derh is one and a half dhai two and a half lakh hundred thousand and crore ten millions making the city s reported population around derh crore English is an official language since none of the ethnic languages was ready to yield first place to another one The city has beautiful temples and monuments also numerous ancient forts as well as a forested ridge in its midst where the prince and princes of Oudh dwell in genteel poverty Also a giant masonry sundial the Jantar Mantar its name has come to denote abracadabra in Hindi where a geocache site waits to be located by explorers with receivers of the GPS global positioning system but it is just a virtual site because of roaming goats Need one go on with this deadpan weirdness Where else does one encounter a man pushing a handcart filled with severed cattle ears telling the author they are for a factory Swastikas are good luck symbols the embassy of Togo is in an automobile showroom a traffic park teaches children to obey traffic signals as they walk its paths and a pay phone service hooked to a satellite is run from an outdoor table by an enterprising individual Yes there is great poverty and too many people lead a marginal existence but violence is relatively rare and individuality simmers everywhere This is a remarkable snapshot of a style of life which may change completely within the span of a generation hard to predict where it is heading but for the visitor at least its current state is fascinating


10 thoughts on “Delhi Adventures in a Megacity

  1. says:

    For a person who enjoys walking and discovering placesthis book was an amazing read I found nodding my head vigorously when the author mentions that Delhi ites never walk and it is true I have always wondered why people who live in a

  2. says:

    The author and I share the same passion which is walking The best part about Delhi is that you get to see both ex

  3. says:

    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 min

  4. says:

    This is an offbeat but delightful book about Delhi capital of India Sam Miller is British even when his passport states Person of Ind

  5. says:

    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 abo

  6. says:

    I've never read a travelogue before; this one just popped out at me at the library so I picked it up I loved the

  7. says:

    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

  8. says:

    Eh I didn't finish it I'm pretty obsessive about all things India but I didn't care much for the author himself and he's the central figurestoryteller so it was hard to just appreciate the stories of the eccentricities and details of Delhi His continued use of flaneur annoyed the crap out of me It's probably a good book if he doesn't annoy you

  9. says:

    If Delhi ever needed a geometric metaphor it would have to be the circle From the different dynasties and political parties that rose and descended along its Ferris wheel of power to the 'ring' roads that serve as the arteries for navigating the city Delhi's circularity is both ancient and modern In 'Delhi Adventures in a Megacity' Sam Miller redefines this circle in an entirely refreshing way A modern day flâneur he se

  10. says:

    I love walking to explore new places and in this book Miller attempts a heck of a walk he takes a gigantic spiral walk around the city in the spirit of psychogeography and captures the absurdities he encounters while embedding them into historical tidbits of the city A novel approach to travel writing that manages to give a richly t