I have been watching with growing fascination the debacle taking place in Delhi as the deadline looms for the start of the Commonwealth Games. When I was there I read the papers most days and the press was focusing on the total corruption associated with the main players, the lack of involvement by the Government, and as we drove around Delhi, it was fairly clear that they were really pushing the envelope to get everything ready. If you want to get a very ‘local’ spin on the events then I strongly recommend reading the Hindustan Times online. The journalistic style in itself is quite unique and entertaining as well as getting a local Indian view of the entire shitfight. When we were travelling and talking to Indians themselves they were frustrated and to a degree embarrassed that even with an event that draws the international spotlight onto the host city and the experience, everyone involved could not keep their hands out of the till. It did provide an insight into the sheer scale of corruption that is present in India. You can read the highlights on the website here or better still the epaper here.
Since the trip to India last month, aspects of India now keep appearing in my life. This post is about two really excellent books, each very different.
The first is titled ‘Holy Cow’ by Sarah MacDonald. Sarah used to work for the radio station Triple J in Australia (the only station worth listening to in the country by the way) and she followed her boyfriend to India after he was posted as the ABC correspondent. Sarah couldn’t work so she travelled India looking for her own personal enlightenment via yoga or religion. Her experiences are wonderful and told with such a great sense of humour. She had previously backpacked around India and decided that she hated the country with a passion. As she was leaving, a beggar read her palm and told her she would return one day for love. Eleven years later she does.
The book that I am currently reading is one that I stumbled upon at the airport this week – ‘White Tiger’ by Aravind Adiga. This is his first novel and with it he won the Man Booker prize in 2008. It is funny, sarcastic, witty and the pages just keep on flying past. A book that wont let you stop until you finish it.
If you have been to India already, both these books will pull memories flooding back in and if you haven’t yet been, you will still have a big smile.