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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Of Mughal Emperors, Samosas, and Chai. The old majors you would meet strolling in the Lodhi Gardens were pickled perhaps half a century earlier. One day everyone was laughing and singing in the Delhi gardens, covering each other with pink powder and coloured Holi-water; the next they had imprisoned themselves in the silent air-conditioned purdah of their bedrooms and offices, waiting patiently for the reprieve of evening.

The earth cracked; the lawns became bald and bleached. WD talks of the mammoth structures the city hosts, their comparison to facades in the west, their historical bearing and the neglected state that they are in today.

There was no relief except to shower with bottles of cold water from Mrs Puri’s fridge There was a problem adding your email address. And not only tha Despite William Dalrymple ‘s deeply upsetting background of being posh, and having wealthy relatives allowing him dkinns potter around ancient castles in Scotland and seemingly taking random years off without having to work, it’s a pretty inspiring read.

One thing that I loved about this book is how Dalrymple interspersed the story with his daily life experiences. The book examines the legacy of the many living Sufi legends such as Hazrat Nizamuddin, Khwaja Khizr and Moin-ud-din-Chishti and shows the strength of the syncretic culture of India. I came into this book as an unabashed fan of William Dalrymple WD. To ask other readers questions about City of Djinnsplease sign up.


It soon became clear that trying to disentangle the history of pre-Muslim Delhi was like penetrating deeper and deeper into a midsummer dust storm: In particular dalrym;le long, delicate attempts to get first-hand interviews and experience with Delhi’s hijra community — representing a kind of fusion of djijns identity with India’s eunuch tradition — are amazing, and result in some remarkable testimony from within a very closed and secretive subculture.

Jun 13, Vikas Lather rated it it was amazing Shelves: Yet, the author observes that this outward refinement in art and etiquette was a cover for some of the most crude and heinous of crimes committed. The Brits that Dalrymple can find who had lived in colonial India show a hilariously skewed kind of imperious equanimity over Indian independence.

May 11, Pushkar Srigyan rated it liked it. This gives and unbiased view of Delhi, what she was, is and has always been. India is a developing country. The author is seldom critical, except when dalrmple talks about the neglect by the Indian authorities of important archaeological sites or his harrowing experience at the willixm. The author creates a beautiful tapestry of stories, places and events, which when juxtaposed with the present creates an exquisite narration.

The lighter side is seen through his Sikh landlady Mrs. I guess it helps his case that Dalrymple’s wife is related dalrympel him.

When I citt first told of this book, I was skeptical about reading it, as nonfiction is a genre which I had a completely irrational dislike for. April gave way to May and every day the heat grew worse. Even the most innocuous of our neighbours, we discovered, had extraordinary tales of Both look very unhappy. CoD has a fresh, unabashedly opinionated but never cruel and passionate feel to it. The walls of the houses exuded heat like enormous ovens. Our people are looking to the future only. Puri, to the daalrymple who taken William Dalrymple around the city.


In his research on the old Delhi-wallahs, Dalrymple even goes and meets Ahmed Ali, a quintessential old Delhi elite, who ends up in Karachi much against his will as a result of the partition of India. The book starts with a lot of promise but takes a meandering tone halfway through the narration. Puri, WD’s landlord and Mr. The British are an unusual case because, as he points out, their lengthy period of political rule has left remarkably few traces on Indian culture.

City of Djinns – Wikipedia

Delhi is lucky to have William Dalrymple as a chronicler — not many cities get such exemplary treatment as this. Thus, he discovers that: The language is top notch, albeit a tad bit too formal at times. Water shot boiling from the cold taps. View all 9 comments.

He had to dig deeper. O 8 The role of poets, who were much lauded in past centuries.


View all 29 comments. It is now on my bucket list pf get a hardcover copy of the book, track down the author who lives in Gurgaon- he never left because he fell in love with Delhiand get his autograph. The first was when I was 15, and even then, I found it to be an interesting book. He lives no stone unturned in uncovering Delhi.

Both the above books were born out of City of Djinns.