Thursday, June 08, 2017

Strangers across the Border

"Strangers across the Border" by journalist Reshma Patil, on her three-and-a-half years’ stint in China (between 2008-12, running the news bureau of Hindustan Times in Beijing) and her interactions with a cross-section of that nation's society, apparently from the angle of Indo-Chinese detente, is a contradictory read, peppered as it is with a pseudo-realist pessimism. Through her long-suffering tale she is in turn refused appointments, served dubious food (being a vegetarian), forced to hear disapproving noises about her parent country and generally made to feel insignificant. I do think that the Chinese do not particularly spend too much time thinking of India (as opposed to, say, of US of A and/or Europe). But a book about encouraging meaningful (and hopefully, joyful) contact between China and India (the Chinese and the Indians) should have been more positive.

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