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Publisher's Summary

Exotic and diverse, richly colourful and intriguingly complex: India is one of the most exciting countries to visit in the world today. Sanjeev Bhaskar, of Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at No. 42, grew up in 70s surburban West London, so his regular family visits to India to see his relatives gave him an endless fascination for its bizarre contradictions.

Now Sanjeev is going back with a BBC film crew to delve deeper into what makes this country such a compelling phenomenon. As Sanjeev travels from Delhi to Bombay, Jaipur to Calcutta, he meets ordinary and extraordinary Indian people from every background, and brings his natural warmth and sense of humour to these encounters. Although often baffled by the eccentricities of India, our endearingly good-natured guide never fails to find humour in these situations.

Sanjeev's India is also a personal journey as Sanjeev meets old relatives who reveal their moving and often traumatic stories of India's turbulent and bloody past, and comes to understand a little more about his own roots. During his trip Sanjeev is invited to a middle-class wedding in Delhi as well as witnessing the poverty of the slums in the Calcutta back streets. He wryly observes the polo-playing Maharajah jet-set in Jaipur as well as the kitsch of Bombay Bollywood, and experiences the Ganges lit up by a million floating candles for the ancient ritual of Diwali and the majestic colonial architecture of the British Raj.

With such an engaging and thoughtful travelling companion, we find ourselves going beyond the clichés to reveal a country steeped in history yet at the forefront of new technology, at once confusing, astonishing, and jaw-droppingly beautiful.

©2007 Sanjeev Bhaskar (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, London, UK

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tim Bremner
  • 01-12-12

Excellent

Sanjeev Bhaskar skillfully addresses India's complexities with humour and sensitivity - his rare gift. A great insight to one of the most complex countries.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lord Peridot
  • 09-01-16

Sweet taste of India

Bhaskar takes us on a whirlwind trip across India, visiting poor and rich alike with equal attention and interest. India or rather Pakistan was the country of his forbears and clearly India is a place he has much love for. He has a great eye and ear for humour and gently lampoons some of the people he encounters in a very British but kindly way. Uppermost in his mind is the terrible violence that erupted between religious communities when the British withdrew. Its a subject he handles tactfully and compassionately, without shirking the terrible facts of the tragedy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • T
  • 04-16-15

Interesting

I was curious to listen to his personal views as he visited various places. It gave a good overview. I didn't get to watch the documentary.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • 01-28-13

Gentle Introduction to the Subcontinent

A lovely listen that uses a journey to the author's family roots in Pakistan via India (originally a BBC TV programme) as the framework upon which to hang his personal experiences and reflections in various states, cities and towns. On the way he tells stories from his suburban London childhood as the offspring of immigrants.



Sanjeev Bhaskar's tone is intimate and his approach is open-hearted. He tells his tale with humour and affection and one feels that he is capturing the true, ordinary person's experience of partition as well as that of modern India.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Miss KP
  • 12-23-12

India, as it is really!

I listen to audiobooks to help sleep and this actually kept me wide awake!, I didn't want to stop listening. It's an enthralling journey into the real India with all its beauty amidst the smell and the poverty and the huge divides between rich, poor and very poor. It is brought alive by the interesting and eccentric characters that are unique to every country. It's not a tourists guide but a journey back to a homeland, with all the mixed emotions that can bring. The descriptions are vivid and take you on the journey via your imagination. Sanjeev Baskar's voice is also very easy to listen to which just makes the experience all that much better. (Nothing worse than a voice on an audiotape that you don't get on with) I loved it and will do what I hardly ever do which is listen to it again and again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • L. Dane
  • 04-02-18

Decent, but limited

This is a fairly interesting series of snapshots of India - narrating Sanjeev's travels while making a TV documentary. I listened to it while travelling India and it helped me build a mental picture of many different parts of India - from Bangalore to Rajasthan.

The limitation is that it's very heavily based on Sanjeev's itinerary, and given that he has not lived in India for a significant period of time this leaves the picture of India which emerges from this audiobook feeling rather skin-deep. For example, its depictions of the role of caste in Indian society, the lives of the rural poor and the causes of the Gaujerat violence are all extremely high-level. Therefore while this was a pleasant listen I didn't take too much away from it.