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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 unfamili. 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 author as he walks in a spiral through Delhi It should be awesome but for some reason it wasn t While I got a few glimpses of what the city might be like most of the little anecdotes just didn t go anywhere and I was never able to establish any sort of emotional connection with the book or the author I slogged through it hoping that would change but it didn t

REVIEW Þ HIDEAWAYSTUDIO.CO.UK ´ Sam Miller

Delhi Adventures in a Megacity

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 way through the city and its suburbs visiting its less celebrated destinations Nehru Place Rohini Ghazipur and Gurgaon which most writers and travelers igno. 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 city which is full of things people and places to discover never bother to do so Anyway it was an enjoyable read though a lot has changed in the city from the time the book was written and yet many things still remain the same Sam Miller takes a humorous look at the wonderful city of Delhi without the normal condescending tone adopted by westerners when writing about things Indian but for his surname and the colour of his skin he could easily have been an Indian from another part of the country exploring this paradoxial city which is our capital

Sam Miller ´ 1 SUMMARY

Re 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 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 and of what the city is. 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 about him except that he had not been very positive about our school in his book so I knew a few people were uestioning why he spoke at our graduation but after reading the book I understand He really loves Delhi and not just the posh parts of Delhi or the history behind it but all of it This is very clear from the way he took the time to walk around the entire city in a spiral formation when walking in Delhi is usually not so easy and is a bit dangerous and his knee injury made it even difficult It is also clear from the way he describes the people and the scenery around him he sees humor all around him but unlike a lot of foreigners his humor isn t full of mocking He obviously cares deeply for the people of Delhi most especially the poor who have little voice and are often taken advantage of He also cares about Delhi s future as well as its past There was so much history in this book and it was really nice to revisit Delhi through the places in this book This book also tries to address the issues of modernity and globalization in a very open way The author doesn t think he has the answers to these problems or that we should just stop time now and not let Delhi move into the modern age but he also points out that if Delhi becomes ultra modern it might end up feeling just like every other city in the world and lose its character and personality People want shopping malls yet they take up space that once was uniue and might have been the site of a Mughal mosue I also like the way Miller was able to speak to the poor in this book and not just look at them and make his own faulty assumptions It is priceless to be able to communicate with someone so different from yourself I especially like the part where he sees the rag pickers at the garbage dump and at first has all these assumptions about how awful their lives are until he actually talks to some of them and learns that this is actually a pretty good job and the people who do it are normal people with children that even go to college and everything A really enjoyable book Even if you never go to Delhi it is still a great read


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 city whi

  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 extremes of the world rich and poor His decision to explore the city by feet was the wisest and the looks Delhiites gave him on hearing the same was extremely hilarious but trueAs born and raised in th

  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 minor

  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 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 Som

  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 about

  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 idea walking through the city in a spiral to see all of the variation within it And Delhi is so jam packed ther

  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 peopl

  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

  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 des

  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 textured but also entertaining account of the complexity that is Delhi