Author: Kavita WatsaPublisher: PenguinYear: 2004Language: EnglishPages: 290ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143031465
I opened my eyes with a start-the repeated metallic sound of a stonecutter's axe was drifting up from the village, just as it must have done thirteen centuries before. The air around me grew heavy with my imaginings, for in my head I heard the ringing of a hundred axes, and knew it was time to leave.Kavita Watsa has been seeking new horizons ever since a mischievous great-uncle put her in a horse cart and took he to a Mysore arrack shop at an impressionable age. In this sparkling mosaic of south Indian travels, She treads roads ancient and modern, opens antique travelogues to see what others saw, and reminds us of the myriad peoples and forces that have shaped life south of the Vindhyas. With an almost Victorian sensibility for bends in the road and turns of phrase, Watsa presents a rich blend of landscapes and architecture-from monsoon-lashed Goa to a coast that inspired Tagore, from desolate Hampi to burgeoning Bangalore, from charming Pondicherry t sun-baked Tranquebar and beyond. Crowned by exquisitely rendered memories of the cool woods of Kodaikanal, Brahmins and Bungalows is a witty, elegant, loving portrait of a deeply cosmopolitan land.
PROLOGUE: OVER THE BUNGALOW WALLTHE HEART OF ANGLO-INDIASrirangapattana: The Isle of Lost DreamsMysore: A Large and Handsome TownBangalore: The Vanishing CantonmentALONG THE ARABIANPadmanabhapuram: A Palace Made of Wood Devbagh: Beyond the Realm of ProseGoa: Five Hundred Monsoons NowCOROMANDEL COLONIESMadras: The Forgotten FortPondicherry: The Empire That Never WasTranquebar: Day of the DanesTHE TEMPLE TRAILHampi: City of VictoryMamallapuram: Masons and MoonrakersThanjavur: In the Womb of the SouthKODAIKANALEpilogue: Woodsmoke and Roses