Thursday, April 5, 2012

Book Review: Butter Chicken in Ludhiana

Aditi Gandhi

Butter Chicken in Ludhiana Travels in Small Town India by Pankaj Mishra


Pankaj Misra’s Butter Chicken in Ludhiana (1995) is peppered with diverse stories of people from across the small towns with a single common underlying theme: Aspirations. Each anecdote has a shade of ‘climb up the ladder’ motivation.  

There are the quintessential rich man’s children, the unknowing victims to consumerism: here in this book, a certain Mr Sahrma, resident of Ambala whose daughter uses only the imported Camay soap and watches Bold and the Beautiful, and the sons of businessmen in Shimoga who travel in Maruti and fritter away parents’ money.