For most residents of India’s bustling metros and big towns, nationality and citizenship are privileges that are often taken for granted. The country’s periphery, however, is dotted with sleepy towns and desolate villages whose people, simply by having more in common with citizens of neighbouring nations than with their own, have to prove their Indian identity every day.ItFor most residents of India’s bustling metros and big towns, nationality and citizenship are privileges that are often taken for granted. The country’s periphery, however, is dotted with sleepy towns and desolate villages whose people, simply by having more in common with citizens of neighbouring nations than with their own, have to prove their Indian identity every day.It is these specks on the country’s map that Pradeep Damodaran rediscovers as he travels across India’s borders for a little more than a year, experiencing life in far-flung areas that rarely feature in mainstream conversations. In Borderlands, he recounts his encounters with the war-weary fishermen of Dhanushkodi at the southernmost tip of Tamil Nadu, who live in fear both of the Indian Coast Guard and the Sri Lankan navy; farmers in Hussainiwala, a village on Punjab’s border with Pakistan, who are unwilling to build concrete houses for fear of them being destroyed in an ever looming war; Tamil traders of Moreh, a town straddling the Manipur–Myanmar border, who pay bribes to at least ten different militant organizations so they can safely conduct their business; and ex-servicemen in Campbell Bay who were resettled there three generations ago and have long been forgotten by the mainland.From Minicoy in Lakshadweep to Taki in West Bengal, Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh to Raxaul in Bihar, Damodaran’s compelling narrative reinforces the idea that, in India, a land of contrasts and contradictions, beauty and diversity, conflict comes in many forms....
|Title||:||Borderlands: Travels Across India's Boundaries|
|Number of Pages||:||400 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Borderlands: Travels Across India's Boundaries Reviews
Okay, so you love to travel but haven’t been able to travel much. However, if you would love to derive vicarious pleasure from travels of others then you ought to read this book. I picked up this book just for fun and fun it was. However, it was only when I finished it that I realized that this book isn’t just fun but a substantially informative piece on life’s of places and people, living literally, on the fringes of this country. It is about experiences of people who despite being citizens of India do not have all the luxuries and privileges that we in mainland take for granted. And yes, this book really helps you understand the meaning of “mainland” – what really constitutes mainland India and what does not. Borderlands also reminds you or perhaps forces you to acknowledge that international territorial boundaries are works of human mischief and not a phenomenon ordained by providence. To people like us, living in deep comforts of India’s mainland, Borders may represent the limit or end of what we call homeland. However, to people living in towns and villages that lie on the periphery of these boundaries, they are just artificial blockade or more so irritants, hampering their everyday life. The lives of people in border towns extend much beyond the barbed wires and military check posts. Their businesses, relatives and friends, memories of childhood and soul of their ancestors thrive on unhindered continuum of land and bonds formed by people across borders (much of which are older than the borders) on the foundation of love and mutual benefit and they naturally do not or cannot recognize the legitimacy of artificial fences set up by people sitting in faraway cities for benefit and security of people like us living in faraway mainland. Borderlands is a must read not just for travel junkies but for anyone who believes human connections and bonds are far more powerful than artificial metallic wire that attempts to hold them back.
A great insight into the lives of the people living at the brinks of India. Life for them is more about survival than aiming to live in comforts. Some of them are far from the reach of any amenity, others flung at desolated lands and yet others who are devoid of national identity itself!!Despite the daily struggles that they have to go through, these people have managed to forge cordial relations with the ones living on the other sides of the border, even when the countries they belong to may still be on aggressive fronts!!
The first 2 chapters were interesting and I liked the concept of the book. However, the chapters on Hussainiwala and Raxaul have become more whiney and less literature that I want to read to describe a place. It's more like diary entries of what happened to the author rather than the descriptions of the places he visited. I'd still complete it someday since I'm interested in the places even if not the book.
So the concept of the book is excellent and very revealing. He talks about areas in the country that one has never heard of and some interesting insights. But the whole effect was spoilt by his sexism that comes out subtly in places. I wouldn't recommend this book honestly. I was put off after a point and then only skimmed through the rest of it.
To really read this book you need to just look at the facts he talks about and shove aside his subtle opinions. For a journalist he sure does let his bias colour a lot of his writing! Nevertheless, informative and interesting.
Must read for Indians with a frail understanding of life on India's borders.
An interesting account on life of Indian nationals at fringes of the boundary as experienced by author Pradeep Damodaran (a journalist).