William Dalrymple, who wrote about India in "City of Djinns", returns to the country in a series of essays. Featured in the pages this work are 15-year-old guerrilla girls and dowager Maharanis; flashy Bombay drinks parties and violent village blood feuds; a group of vegetarian terrorists intent on destroying India's first Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet; and a palace where port and cigars are still carried to guests on a miniature silver steam train. In the course of his travels, Dalrymple meets such figures as Imran Khan, Ismail Merchant, Benazir Bhutto and Baba Sehgal, the Indian Gary Glitter; he witnesses the macabre nightly offering to the bloodthirsty goddess Parashakti - She Who is Seated on a Throne of Five Corpses; he experiences civil war in Kashmir and caste massacres in the badlands of Bihar, and dines with a drug baron on the North-West Frontier; he discovers such oddities as the terrorist apes of Jaipur (only brought to book when the municipality began impregnating their bananas with opium); and the shrine where Lord Krishna is said to make love every night to his 16,108 wives and 64,732 milkmaids.
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