Review: Capital: A Portrait of Twenty‑First Century Delhi


Rana Dasgupta has produced a vivid and haunting account of the ‘new India’: The Guardian

capitalParis, Vienna, New York: every capital city has its moment of modernist euphoria. An era – often fleeting, enjoyed by some more than others – when new ideas and technologies and economic systems burst into view. When things that were solid start to melt. When the future is at once thrilling and terrifying – and seems to have landed suddenly in the present.

In Delhi, according to Rana Dasgupta (right), that time was around the turn of the millennium. The novelist, who had been raised in England and later worked as a marketing consultant in the US, came to the Indian capital on account of love. The hype surrounding the Bric countries, to say nothing of the grand folly and world stage-strutting represented by the 2010 Commonwealth Games, still lay ahead.

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