by Syeda Saiyidain Hameed , Gunjan Veda
ISBN 9350291304 (93-5029-130-4)
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Softcover, HarperCollins Publishers India, 2012
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Book summary: Beautiful Country is a journey towards understanding India. From the rarefied world of the Jalpaiguri tea estates to the crowded bylanes of Varanasi, from the pristine forests of Andamans to the seething valley of Manipur, from the scattered habitations of Ladakh to the flooded villages of Barmer - these are the roads less travelled. A woman and a girl set out to see India, lugging along the baggage of their pasts. On the way, they meet: Maimunisa, the ancillary weaver from Banaras who has only been able to feed her three-year-old son sabudane ka paani (tapioca water); young doctors from AIIMS who have left behind hefty pay packages and the comfort of city life to provide health care to tribals in the hinterlands of Chhattisgarh; village women who have been able to significantly reduce the number of infant deaths in the tribal peripheries of Maharashtra. The duo chance upon the story of Bon Bibi and Shah Jangolee in the swamps of the Sundarbans, as also the natural, historical and cultural wonders that dot the Indian landscape.This book compels you to experience the hope and despair, misery and triumph, failures and innovations of real India an India that remains invisible to most Indians and does not make it to the front pages of newspapers, and has not been captured by the roving cameras of the 24x7 media channels
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