Rana Dasgupta’s Delhi book tries to deconstruct Delhi’s neuroses. Manjula Lal wishes the focus was sharper: Tehelka
A search for the soul of Delhi can only be a wild goose chase. For the very idea of our capital city having a soul would be scoffed at by those who see it only as a temporary workplace, never a “native place”. However, it does deserve to be deconstructed and understood, not just pilloried, for what it does today, Bharat will do tomorrow. Rana Dasgupta gives the city a biography it deserves, rising above journalistic eclecticism (though there’s that, too) to tease out its idiosyncracies, its pathos and its relentless materialism. He finds the reasons why so many migrant workers, refugees and government employees prolong their stay in the belief that going back to the Rest of India is like joining a losing team.