Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.77 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi Paperback – March 25, 2003
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Library Journal
Delhi has a richly layered past, and Dalrymple (In Xanadu, McKay, 1990) deftly peels away each layer to reveal how the city came to be what it is today. Djinns are spirits said to be seen only after prolonged fasting and prayer; they too are integral to understanding the city. The author, a young Scot carrying on the fine British tradition of travel writing, has a knack for meeting fascinating people and capturing their most revealing remarks. He introduces us to dervishes, eunuchs, partridge fighting, weddings, and expatriates. His wife contributes sketches that nicely complement his text. Considering the importance of Delhi, the capital of the world's second most populous nation, this book deserves to be in most public and academic libraries.
Harold M. Otness, Southern Oregon State Coll. Lib., Ashland
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
`Delightful ... Surely one of the funniest books about India' Times Literary Supplement`Scholarly and marvellously entertaining ... a considerable feat' Dervla Murphy, Spectator`Dalrymple has pulled it off again' Jan Morris, Independent --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
However, this is not a book about the Delhi of today, and readers looking for information about today's city,or planning a trip on the basis of the book would be disappointed.
Nevertheless, it is well worth a read. And the djinns still inhabit the ruins, if you know where to look.
William Dalrymple peels the multilayered culture of the historical city of Delhi - seven times the capital of empires - ruined and rebuilt again. He spans from the Punjabi immigrants that've filled the newer parts of economically booming Delhi sice the partition of India in 1947; to the more historic but now decrepit old Delhi - where the legendary age old 'Persian' customs such as the 'Kabootar' (Pegion) fights, the 'Chor' (Thief) Bazaars and the mysterious 'Hakims' (Doctors practicing an old school of medicine) are unquestioned parts of the daily lives of many. Dalrymple also describes the curious and unique collision of history leading to the current day fate of the Indian Hijras (Eunuchs), who ring the door bells of apartments of Delhi's denizens, in the old city and the new, on any kind of festivity. He describes the fascinating history and architecture of the tomb of Himayun and Hazrat Nizam-ud-din, the charming old 'Quawaalis' (musical forums) still alive there, and many other monuments that I visited umpteen times as a kid, the 'Sadhus', an ancient culture intact with flavors... the list is endless. Somehow, I missed making the connections, and could see the beauty of the entire kaliedoscope when I read this book. I find my visits to Delhi so much more fascinating. One thing that the readers must be made aware though is the overt focus on history of Mughal (Persian) Delhi - which is for a reason - that all the pre-Mughal monuments were destroyed. The Delhi that exists is newer than the spirit of the city really is.
Since I read this book I always try to find such books on the cities I've visited. A strong recommend for anyone visiting Delhi -- you can choose to be put off by the seeming boorishness of the existing 'New' Delhi, or scratch beneath the surface and discover magic!
I agree with another reviewer that Dalrymple says relatively little about Hindu Delhi, but I think Delhi is one of the most historically cosmopolitan of cities in a subcontinent that is often painted as Hindu in broad strokes. I hope no reader takes as disrespect when I say that Hindu India gets plenty of attention; I am glad that Dalrymple focused on what cultural roads are less traveled. He does tell, and beautifully so, the story of the role of Delhi's ancestral settlement in the Mahabharata.
What I loved most about the book was its portrayal of the vibrant Sufi community in India; the life of a Sufi dargah; the Qawwali singers. Learning about Sufi Delhi was a great and valuable revelation to me.
Most recent customer reviews
Dalrymple boundless admiration for the Moghuls however dampens the...Read more