Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022
Outlook.com
Review

Doonsbury

An unhappy mix of confused writing that oscillates between simplistic and sentimental, to merely banal.

Doonsbury
Doonsbury
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Blessed as the place may be by the literary carcasses of old writers—John Lang, Pearl Buck, Jim Corbett and John Masters—many contributors are in the anthology by virtue of birth or education there. Most of the 20 pieces in the book are a nostalgic hankering for a lifestyle in decline. The writing oscillates between simplistic and sentimental, to merely banal. In the opening essay David Keeling describes changes that could be true of any Indian city. The more memorable pieces in the anthology belong to those who aren’t overly attached to its colonial attractions. Bill Aitken, Victor Banerjee and Ramachandra Guha merely use the setting to embark on their own stories.

Somehow the nostalgic mood just eluded me. If the idea was to illuminate Doon as a unique setting, the effort is a failure. The physical changes that altered the place—overcrowding, excessive building, increased traffic—are common to all India. It could as well be Once upon a Time in the Kumaon, or in Kullu.

Outlook Newsletters

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.