Book Reviews

Delirious Delhi

Tourists look at a city from different perspectives. Most just want to visit sights, experience restaurants, may be a few bars, occasionally seek museums, sleep in a hotel, and more recently in a bnb apartment, but never study how ordinary citizens live, make a living, or for that matter, behave.

The author and his wife are relatively young, adventurous and skilled New Yorkers who arranged to work in a New Delhi advertising agency for 18 months with the objective not only study working life in a frenzied city with more than 14 million inhabitants, visit local restaurants where authentic specialties are enjoyed by people in-the-know and can afford luxuries, or for that matter street food.

After their stay they planned to visit neighbouring Nepal and other states of India, before continuing their sojourn to Singapore.

Dave Prager and his wife Jenny have created a sensational book portraying the inner workings of New Delhi from how the traffic flows, the attitude of the Indian bureaucracy, the quality of food in Indian and western-style food being served in New Delhi, how people think, behave, work, the misery of the poor, and the eagerness to serve customers and restaurant patrons.

The writing flows beautifully, informs the reader stupendously, and induces laughter after laughter that you will never be able to encounter in any travel book.

Descriptions of New Delhi’s frenzied markets, the taste of food, sites, and challenges of living, represent not only a tribute to a great world capital, but also literary excellence.

This is a book for people who like to read witty prose that also informs, and analyses why things are the way they are, and the way people think and behave. If you are planning to visit India in a group or on your own, reading this book is a must, but even if you are not planning to visit it will enrich you, and help you understand why you should be thankful to live in a western society and a large city with all the amenities imaginable.

Highly recommended.

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