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nbarman

nbarman

The Beautiful and the Damned: A Portrait of the New India - Siddhartha Deb For those of us that live outside of India and take trips there, it is easy for us to wax eloquent about how much "fun" India is, or how affectionate people are or how glamorous things can be or how much easier life in India is with the help of servants and drivers and relatively inexpensive labor. What lies just beneath the surface, however, is something we mostly miss out on not living there. And for those of us that live there, we are doing what is necessary to survive in what is essentially a brutal place.

This book is a stark reminder of the constant brutality that lies just beneath the surface but is all pervasive in Indian society. Helplessness for just about anyone is a real fear. Even those who are privileged and seemingly above it all are affected by the brutality. One is either being brutalized, on the brink of being brutalized, conducting brutality upon others, or simply complicit by buying into the system. And for the remaining few who are not complicit, well, they're usually living in self-created bubble of ignorance, borne almost always out of privilege.