City of Djinns has ratings and reviews. Warwick said: Delhi is lucky to have William Dalrymple as a chronicler – not many cities get such exemp. Sparkling with irrepressible wit, City of Djinns peels back the layers of Delhi’s centuries-old history, revealing an extraordinary array of characters. May 27, Author: William Dalrymple Pages: Published in the year: Publishers: Penguin Genre: Non-fiction/ Memoir For Dalrymple, who has.

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Whenever he finds out a little about anythingwe also start filling curious about it and later if he founds someone to talk about that I mean any breakthrough we also became excited to meet him or visit that places. Oct 20, gurpreet kaur rated it it was amazing. Reading City Of Djinns was like reading a fascinating novel and I soon found that it was not a typical travelogue but an enchanting chronicle of the historic city of Delhi.

Sadness that even one copy of this adlrymple book would have to be thrown away The author was just 25 years old in and shows what a scholar and culturally-sensitive person he was, especially coming from as foreign a culture as that of Scotland.

The stories wliliam as far back as the Mahabharata. But he wouldn’t set foot in Delhi even when he accidentally lands in Delhi airport.

An absorbing and stimulating read. But it still shows how continuing traditions lie at the core of such cities.

City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi by William Dalrymple

Written by a Brit, this book is the result of a one year stay in Delhi. Subjects studied included Muslim jurisprudence and Quranic studies, and probably astronomy and medicine too. From the British era, the book travels back to the luxuriant Shah Jahan period, where a bloody battle for succession broke out between his two sons Dara Shikoh and Aurangazeb.

Considering that Lutyens managed to fuse Eastern and Western aesthetics more successfully than any other artist since the anonymous sculptors of Gandhara who produced their Indo-Hellenic Buddhas in the wake of Alexander the Greathis dislike of Indian art and architecture is particularly surprising: They pinch men’s buttocks, purposely make buffoons of themselves, but are quick to take offence. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.


Also, I suspect that even as Brown’s quote led me here, Dalrymple will lead me to more fascinating books. During Eid, Major Uncle would come with us to the mosque, and during Diwali, I would stand while the aarti was carried out by Kavita Aunty. He paints such a li From SolomonSays: The taking of the pulse is the principal tool for any Unani diagnosis.

Loved the way Delhi has been depicted through it’s long history backwards. Underlying his quest is the legend of the djinns, fire-formed spirits that are said to assure the city’s Phoenix-like regeneration no matter how many times it is destroyed.

But now visiting so many places of Delhi through William’s eyes was more insightful. History comes alive then. At other times, he prefers letting his ironic narration do the talking.

On the complete neglect of the mighty past, of the structures, of traditions, etc. It is most fascinating when Dalrymple describes an ancient monument This book is an encyclopaedia for all common Dilliwalas and any Indian even slightly interested in knowing about Delhi and ancient India. There were no areas that I felt uneasy to visit after sunset.

Moreover – I soon discovered – possessed a bottomless seam of stories, tales receding far beyond history, deep into the cavernous chambers of myth and legend,” he says in his introduction. The maps and monuments she draws are really pretty, though much of the sketches have a distinct exotic, western gaze – man smoking hookah, an old cobbler, qawwali singers, a eunuch and so one.

He has done this much better in his more recent books. It was a style most unbecoming for a lady of her age and lineage; moreover it jarred with everything one knew about her sophistication and culture” In an attempt to excavate the background of Delhi, beginning from the modern history and receding behind till as far as BC, he has composed a great mix of travel writing and history.

Where he informed me that he had initiated the conversation way back in The City of Djinns. The English spoken in India is its own animal, with all kinds of strange and unusual pleasures awaiting those who are unfamiliar with it. Under the guise of describing a year in Delhi, Dalrymple also goes back into the history of Delhi, ranging from even be I first heard about this book as a result of searching eBay for the works of the Scottish writer and poet George Mackay Brown, whose works I collect.


Now I am a hijra. People became tired and listless. I came into this book as an unabashed fan of William Dalrymple WD.


This book changed my perspective and literally made me fall in love with the city all over again. In the Old City men set up small roadside stalls around big earthenware pots containing ‘jal jeera’, a dark, spicy, green liquid which burns the mouth but cools the body Many interesting character dot his domestic world.

Dalrymple befriends a hijra group in Delhi, and gives us some fascinating insights into this small but interesting group of people. Aug 02, Sudhakar Gupta rated it really liked it Shelves: Peel back one more layer.

Even the date of the wedding has to be djinhs chosen, and this can result in wedding jams, with everyone trying to get married at more or less the same time.

CITY OF DJINNS by William Dalrymple | Kirkus Reviews

It soon cuty clear that trying to disentangle the history of pre-Muslim Delhi was like penetrating deeper and deeper into a midsummer dust storm: More importantly, it talks about the spirit of Delhi, which I must say, has been lost today. And then, quite suddenly, on the very edge of the dark abyss of prehistory, ancient Delhi is dramatically spotlit, as if by the last rays of a dying sun. Its broad avenues encompassed a groaning necropolis, a graveyard of dynasties.

The sadhus at Nigambodh Ghat I imagined as stranded citizens of Indraprastha, the legendary first Delhi of the Mahabharata, the great Indian epic. As I read it, the old second-hand copy I was reading started disintegrating.

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