One Point Two Billion by Mahesh Rao

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Witty, moving, and powerful, many of Rao’s stories combine atmospheric evocations of place with surgical examinations of emotion.
-Guardian

Synopsis

There are 1.2 billion people living in India, more than 1.2 billion stories in one country. A man living on a tea plantation in the Nilgiri Hills realizes he s in love with his daughter-in-law, a young family eagerly awaits the launch of Shakti-Cola, a chronically anxious yoga retreat manager struggles with the demands of her enlightenment-seeking Western patrons and a family legacy hangs in the balance when a horrifying discovery is unearthed on their Rajasthani estate. Traversing thirteen Indian states, One Point Two Billion illuminates the exhilarating diversity of the second most populous nation in the world. Moving from towering megacity to remote detention camp, from the canals of rural Punjab to an exclusive club in Delhi, these remarkable stories offer glimpses into the loves, triumphs and tragedies of everyday life in a world torn between tradition and the shock of modernity.

In a mesmerizing collection laced with biting humour, filled with danger and hope, these stories from the award-winning author of The Smoke is Rising portray the vast array of lives existing in the uneasy balance of Indian society.
 

About Mahesh Rao

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Published October 1, 2015 by HarperCollins. 252 pages
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Guardian

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Reviewed by Anuradha Roy on Oct 24 2015

Witty, moving, and powerful, many of Rao’s stories combine atmospheric evocations of place with surgical examinations of emotion.

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