By William Dalrymple
Gleaming with irrepressible wit, City of Djinns peels again the layers of Delhi's centuries-old historical past, revealing a rare array of characters alongside the way-from eunuchs to descendants of serious Moguls. With refreshingly open-minded interest, William Dalrymple explores the seven "dead" towns of Delhi in addition to the 8th city-today's Delhi. Underlying his quest is the legend of the djinns, fire-formed spirits which are stated to guarantee the city's Phoenix-like regeneration regardless of what number occasions it truly is destroyed. enjoyable, interesting, and informative, City of Djinns is an impossible to resist combination of study and event.
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Extra resources for City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi
INTRODUCTION Laurie L. Patton In June of 1997, at a celebration of the twenty-first birthday of a young man in an upper middle-class neighborhood in Bombay, a high school teacher was heard to say, “The Indo-Europeans! No one believes in those anymore. ” Six months later, at an academic reception in New York City, a well-known intellectual raised his eyebrows when asked about the indigenous Aryan theory, and said: “Those theories coming out of India? Pure, unreasoned polemics. . ” There were more than oceans separating these views, but also on both sides a dismissive unwillingness to engage in the debate, and clear assumptions about the motivations of the other point of view.
He examines five different cases of Vedic interpretation and a related case of Avestan interpretation concerned with the problem of Aryan origins. First he takes on the idea that Vedic references to outsiders indicate that the outsiders’ speech was influenced by Dravidian. Hock argues that, if anything, such statements refer to ritually impure speech, rather than dialectical Dravidian influence. Second, the idea that Ṛgveda passages refer to racial differences between ārya and dāsa is also not supportable, as most of the passages may not refer to dark or light skinned people, but dark and light worlds.
New use of material for bead technology also suggests the emergence of a new elite. Given that there seems to be no significant change in population during this period, Kenoyer thinks that the archaeological data reflect social, economic, and ideological restructuring that involved previously marginal communities. These communities cannot be called “Aryan” or “non-Aryan,” but it is also clear that these terms do not even represent a single community in the Veda. Kenoyer acknowledges that there is moreover clearly no support for the idea of invasion and destruction of cities and towns.