The Age of Kali - Indian Travels and Encounters

The Age of Kali - Indian Travels and Encounters

Product ID: 9500

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Author: William Dalrymple
Publisher: Flamingo
Year: 1999
Language: English
Pages: 386
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0006547753


This collection of nineteen essays is a panorama of the Indian subcontinent, poised between chaos, westernization and immemorial tradition. A fine collection of writing, immaculately researched and, of course, wickedly funny.

The book's title is a reference to the concept in ancient Hindu cosmology that time is divided into four great epochs. Each age (or Yug) is named after one of the four throws, from best to worst, in a traditional Indian game of dice; accordingly, each successive age represents a period of increasing moral and social deterioration. The ancient mythological Golden Age, named after the highest throw of the dice, is known as the Krita Yug, or Age of Perfection India is now in the throes of the Laki Yug, the Age of Kali, the lowest possible throw, an epoch of strife, corruption, darkness and disintegration. In the Age of Kali the great gods Vishnu and Shiva are asleep and do not hear the prayers of their devotees. In such an age, normal conventions fall apart: anything is possible.

The subcontinent has been William Dalrymple's favorite hunting ground and out of its vastness and complexity has extracted wonderful stories. The five years he spent in Delhi working on his best-selling City of Djinns was also a productive phase in his journalism. This new offering of his collected pieces gives a chance to discover facets of Dalrymple unknown to fans who have marveled at his phenomenal descriptive powers and his sense of history. In particular, the account of his visit to the Tamil Tigers is one of the most stunning portrayals of a ruthless and efficient guerilla outfit and its death-daring fighters that any journalist has ever managed to piece together. Through it all, he maintains an undercurrent of humor.




1 The North

the age of Kali
In the Kingdom of Avadh
The city of Widows
Warrior Queen: The Rajmata of Gwalior

2 In Rajasthan

The Sad Tale of Bahveri Devi
Caste Wars
Sati Mata

3 The New India

Two Bombay Portraits
Finger-Lickin' Bad: Banglore and the Fast-Food Invaders

4 The South

At the Court of the Fish-Eyed goddess
Under the Char Minar

5 On the Indian ocean

At Donna Georgina's
Up the Tiger Path
The Sorcerer's Grave

6 Pakistan

Imran Khan: Out for a Duck
On the Frontier
Bloods on the Tracks
Benazir Bhutto: Mills & Boons in Karachi