My station was a few minutes away. By now my compartment was almost empty as it would be everyday by the time the train reached my station. That man looking like Mainak was still sitting in the seat far away from mine.
Given India’s social disparity, alcohol is both a devil, responsible for a range of social ills like worst forms of misogyny, irresponsible money blowing etc (mostly experienced by the poorer sections), and a pleasant fellow companion which symbolizes high living and aspirations (how the middle class views drinking).
There is considerable fear about them. It is believed they are sexually promiscuous and therefore are potential carriers of sexually transmitted diseases, that if they find you within proximity they may ask for sexual favours, that they are creatures coming from some dark, unknown place, that they are completely beyond the pale.
Capital reminded me of something someone had told me many years ago: that behind everything there is an economic reason. Dasgupta has traced back all the changes that he believes have come to Delhi in recent years to the economic phenomenon in 1991.
Vir Sanghvi admitted his greatness as a writer but little bit tarnished it by calling Naipaul’s contemporary relevance into question. “Will his novels stand the test of time? Does anybody still read say, A House for Mr. Biswas? Will they read it ten years from now?”
The truth devastates him and also leaves the reader surprised. When it comes to the reader, though, it’s not the truth alone which is surprising, completely different from what the novel prepares the reader for, but also the fact that it is too ham-handed an ending for an Ishiguro novel.
The rage we see on social media against liberals is because what they stand for, espouse, support, oppose goes against general common sense of people with a conservative bend of mind.
The humiliation makes international news headlines and is seen as the biggest reversal to face the Empire since its beginning. Prestige has to be restored. Retaliation and recapture of Afghanistan follow…
And along the way your constant companion will be Bryson’s whacky observations (some of which indeed make you laugh) and autobiographical details about growing up in small town America (Des Moines, Iowa), which always adds character to travelogues, as he takes you through the obscure towns and cities of America.