Snakes and Ladders
a View of Modern India
By (author) Gita Mehta
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Snakes and Ladders by Gita Mehta
Book DescriptionWith a novelist's eye for detail and colour, Gita Mehta writes of the continent of contradictions that is host to one-sixth of the world's population. The world's largest democracy, it still practices the caste system. It's a burgeoning economic superpower, and one of the poorest nations on earth. It has the world's largest film industry, and the world's oldest religions. It is an ancient civilisation celebrating fifty years as a modern nation, entering a new international order many believe will belong to China and India. Now as never before, the world wants to know what contemporary India is all about.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780099268222
(198mm x 129mm x 14mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 26-Mar-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Gita Mehta
Raj, Paperback (May 2007)
After her brother dies and her father is poisoned, Princess Jaya of Balmer is wed to a prince, who forsakes her for an extravagant life in England and Europe. She bears a son, whom she raises to be Maharajah, but in the paroxysm of the nationalist movement and the bloodshed between Hindus and Muslims, both son and husband are doomed.
River Sutra, Paperback (May 2007)
A retired bureaucrat has escaped the world to spend his twilight years running a guest-house on the banks of the country's holiest river, the Narmada. But he has chosen the wrong place for peace and quiet: too many lives converge here and he meets a series of unusual characters.
Ganesh, Hardback (October 2006)» View all books by Gita Mehta
Ganesha is the most beloved deity in the Hindu pantheon, and in India, his image is ubiquitous. This book explores the rich religious and cultural meanings of the beloved Ganesha in a volume that will appeal not only to Hindus, but all who are touched by the talismanic power of his image and the generous spirit of his attributes.
US Kirkus Review » Short essays about the "alarming speed with which India is changing," by an admired novelist (A River Sutra, 1993, etc.). Mehta, born in India before her country gained independence, lived through that period with a child's alert imagination and has been passionately studying the place ever since - although, as she makes plain here, her identity is as much cosmopolitan (with moorings in London and Manhattan) as Indian. While some of these pieces seem too hectic, possessing a heady, dashed-off quality, Mehta's quickness of mind and pen is also her strength. She can plunge us into the intensely remembered girlhood pleasures of reading Nabokov and Kerouac and "Archie" comics in Calcutta's impromptu lending libraries. She can precisely catch the differences between a concert audience in India and another in America: "Art is not just something displayed by the talented to a passive audience," she writes, observing an Indian singer, "but, rather, that moment when the artist, the audience, the subject, the discipline - all combine to become something approaching religious experience, a moment of mutual creation." Mehta also tells spirited personal Stories of her adventures and researches, such as seeking out ragpickers to find out how they live. She's very good on the ethics of power: "The most interesting evolution in independent India is the change from individual fearlessness in the face of social and political injustice to craven courting of those who possess social and political power." Shrewdly, she avoids generalizing about India, concentrating instead on a wide range of quite specific topics - e.g., the spiritual meaning of trees to Indians; interior design as a clue to the country's character; the coming of high-tech and shopping malls to the land of Gandhi. Pugnacious in tone and irreverent in critique, Mehta clearly loves her home and is maddened by it. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Gita Mehta
In addition to her books Karma Cola, Raj, A River Sutra and Snakes and Ladders, Gita Metha has written articles for a number of Indian, European and American magazines, and filmed documentaries for European and American television. Her books have been translated into thirteen languages and published in twenty-seven countries. She lives in New York, London and India.
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