Tag Archive > Siddhartha Deb

The Beautiful and the Damned: Life in the New India

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The Beautiful and the Damned: Life in the New India by Siddhartha DebThe Beautiful and the Damned is a collection of five essays by Siddhartha Deb which lifts the lid on aspects of Indian life that are outside the experience and exposure of most outsiders who visit the country. In some respects, Deb himself is an outsider, coming from the far north east of the country in Shillong, an area that looks like it should belong to some other country, squeezed as it is between Bhutan, Bangladesh, Burma and China. His family were East Bengalis, fleeing from the new land of East Pakistan (later Bangladesh) into an area where they didn’t fit amongst the locals. It’s a fascinating background to which he offers us only the occasional glimpse because this is not Deb’s story; it’s the story of ordinary and extraordinary people living in the world’s biggest Democracy in the new Millennium. People for whom the economic boom is making either an enormous or a negligible difference to their lives – all depending on where they stand on the economic ladder. For an India-phile like myself, it’s compulsive reading.


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