Review of India Rising in The Times

Oliver Balch brings a zestful, youthful approach to a sub-continent as ancient as history but young in the perpetual reinvention of itself. The “modernist pretensions and international flavour” of places such as Mahindra World City, one of India’s modern mega-cities, writes Balch, “share nothing with the India of my imagination.” The readjustment of his perceptions from post-colonial nostalgia to the now of new India is the essence of his travels through a modern commercial culture in a high-tension transition between 21st-century trade and technology, and traditional values and practices. Energised and excited by India, Balch’s set pieces add up to a well-made drama of lives in a complex, colourful, competitive landscape where extremes, often to their mutual dismay and distress, collude and collide.

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