Now Sanjeev is going back with a BBC film crew to delve deeper into what makes this country such a compelling phenomenon. As Sanjeev travels from Delhi to Bombay, Jaipur to Calcutta, he meets ordinary and extraordinary Indian people from every background, and brings his natural warmth and sense of humour to these encounters. Although often baffled by the eccentricities of India, our endearingly good-natured guide never fails to find humour in these situations.
Sanjeev's India is also a personal journey as Sanjeev meets old relatives who reveal their moving and often traumatic stories of India's turbulent and bloody past, and comes to understand a little more about his own roots. During his trip Sanjeev is invited to a middle-class wedding in Delhi as well as witnessing the poverty of the slums in the Calcutta back streets. He wryly observes the polo-playing Maharajah jet-set in Jaipur as well as the kitsch of Bombay Bollywood, and experiences the Ganges lit up by a million floating candles for the ancient ritual of Diwali and the majestic colonial architecture of the British Raj.
With such an engaging and thoughtful travelling companion, we find ourselves going beyond the clichés to reveal a country steeped in history yet at the forefront of new technology, at once confusing, astonishing, and jaw-droppingly beautiful.
©2007 Sanjeev Bhaskar; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, London, UK
Sanjeev Bhaskar skillfully addresses India's complexities with humour and sensitivity - his rare gift. A great insight to one of the most complex countries.
17th Century Heretic
Bhaskar takes us on a whirlwind trip across India, visiting poor and rich alike with equal attention and interest. India or rather Pakistan was the country of his forbears and clearly India is a place he has much love for. He has a great eye and ear for humour and gently lampoons some of the people he encounters in a very British but kindly way. Uppermost in his mind is the terrible violence that erupted between religious communities when the British withdrew. Its a subject he handles tactfully and compassionately, without shirking the terrible facts of the tragedy.
A lovely listen that uses a journey to the author's family roots in Pakistan via India (originally a BBC TV programme) as the framework upon which to hang his personal experiences and reflections in various states, cities and towns. On the way he tells stories from his suburban London childhood as the offspring of immigrants.
Sanjeev Bhaskar's tone is intimate and his approach is open-hearted. He tells his tale with humour and affection and one feels that he is capturing the true, ordinary person's experience of partition as well as that of modern India.
I listen to audiobooks to help sleep and this actually kept me wide awake!, I didn't want to stop listening. It's an enthralling journey into the real India with all its beauty amidst the smell and the poverty and the huge divides between rich, poor and very poor. It is brought alive by the interesting and eccentric characters that are unique to every country. It's not a tourists guide but a journey back to a homeland, with all the mixed emotions that can bring. The descriptions are vivid and take you on the journey via your imagination. Sanjeev Baskar's voice is also very easy to listen to which just makes the experience all that much better. (Nothing worse than a voice on an audiotape that you don't get on with) I loved it and will do what I hardly ever do which is listen to it again and again.
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