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Po wprowadzeniu otwartej gospodarki rynkowej w Indiach zapanował chaos niszczenia i tworzenia slumsy i targowiska były burzone a na ich miejscu wyrastały centra handlowe i apartamentowce powstawały oszałamiające fortuny młodzi ludzie robili zawrotne kariery a luksus był na wyciągnięcie ręki Ale transformacja dała też początek ogromn. 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 timeThat was a mistakeBecause 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 withCapital 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 aliveThe 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 uniue 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 naturallyDasgupta 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 necessaryIn 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 Bending the Rules (Sisterhood Diaries, until I was sure it was worth my timeThat was a mistakeBecause when I did get around to reading Capital this year I Hope Street 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 withCapital is a disturbing book From the beginning this point is made clear to Burkes Christmas Surprise 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 A Perfect Blood (The Hollows, us as we read this capital of yours is aliveThe book starts with an introduction of how trade works in this city And slowly the narrator s vision takes Just Wars and Moral Victories us higher Two Paradigms for Divine Healing up this isn t the looking Kenget e Milosaos up from the ground approach of Barbara Ehrenreich s reportage or the view from the grime of Old Delhi that Aman Sethi conjures Early Chinese Religion, Part Two (220-589 Ad) up in A Free Man Dasgupta sees Delhi from At Europes Borders 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 We are the Ship underfoot and tried to Esoteric Buddhism at Dunhuang understand it with their art And then abruptly he contrasts that time with the seemingly ideal less present achieving an effect that he Studies on Steinschneider uses repeatedly in the book This contrast might be rather in your face set piece but it is necessary Delhi can never be Fantasies of Cross-Dressing 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 Commanders Little Surprise us again and again Delhi s rich are rich precisely because they find and in a lot of cases found themselves in a The Holy Roman Empire, 1495-1806 uniue 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 Come Hell or High Water 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 naturallyDasgupta 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 Propaganda Performed understand A leap of faith is necessaryIn 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 Hinterlands and Commodities 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 Untold Secrets of Planet Earth 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

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Capital The Eruption of Delhi

Ym nierównościom społecznym a przemoc na ulicach osiągnęła niespotykaną dotąd skalęRana Dasgupta pisze o współczesnym Delhi z liryzmem i empatią wsłuchując się w głosy jego mieszkańców miliarderów i biurokratów handlarzy narkotyków i przedsiębiorców mieszkańców slumsów i pracowników międzynarodowych korporacji Są poko. 455 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 sortThis 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 highlighted times or posted status updates for a bookRecommended reading

Free read Capital The Eruption of Delhi

Leniem na zakręcie a ich historie składają się na obraz miasta i społeczeństwa pogrążonego w wirze transformacji Delhi to literacki portret jednego z najszybciej rozwijających się współcześnie miast ale to także opowieść o tym co być może czeka nas wszystkich; to błyskotliwa analiza rozwoju i przyszłości globalnego kapitalizm. 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 uick by fitting themselves somewhere into the vast framework of black money and bribery that underpins the whole city and The 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 uite 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 uite long and paints maybe an extreme picture but I found it to be a worthwhile read


10 thoughts on “Capital The Eruption of Delhi

  1. says:

    Just a few days ago Narendra Modi banned the two largest currency notes in India 500 and 1000 rupees in an effort to catch those who are corrupt or practising tax avoidance A brief synopsis of the situation can be found in The New York Times if you want to learn the full story about the heavy burden of corruption that beleaguers Indian society then this is the book for you You need to gird your loins and stiffen your resolve because this i

  2. says:

    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 Dasgupt

  3. says:

    This book is about Delhi post 1990s Rana Dasgupta successfully records the transition of Delhi from a sleeping monster to a raging

  4. says:

    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

  5. says:

    Rana weaves a web of exuisite 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 betw

  6. says:

    455 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 o

  7. says:

    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

  8. says:

    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' billionaire

  9. says:

    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 governm

  10. says:

    To cut the long story short this book could have easily done with a hundred pages less There's a lot of historical

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