in the dense woods roamed by wild tigers and panthers. He begins with a little
native boy whose large eyes open and see his changing country with mild
curiosity and at time shocking fear. Dom Moraes borrows this pair of eyes to see
his world the way he sees it, and then tell you a story.
In this entertaining
and witty mix of history, diary and the ramifications of the modern age the
story of the land of Karnataka is told through the eyes of many people.
Following the path gazed by these eyes, Moraes's personal experiences bring out
the feel and smell of the place, but more, the hope.
Karnataka has layers of
culture, civilization and history and it is this, the enthralling and enigmatic
features of this ancient-modern state, that the author sets out to trace and
move more through time than space. He tells the story with the ease of a
preoccupied traveler who shifts between past and present because he believes
they cannot be separate. Watching the roads and rivers that loop and whorl
through the land, he travels through the rivers that flow constantly through the
minds of its people.
And more importantly, through his own. Until his eyes
become a sum of theirs and of that little native boy's when the beginning began.
Dom Moraes was born in Mumbai in 1938. As a boy he met
W.H. Auden and Stephen Spender who praised his early poetry. He has now
published nine volumes and won major literary awards like the Hawthornden Prize
in England and the Lamont and Goldfinch prizes in the US. His work includes
"In Cinnamon Shade," published in England in 2002, and "Typed
With One Finger," which came out in India in 2003.
Moraes has also
written extensively for newspapers and magazines in India and abroad. Among the
better known of his 21 prose books are two autobiographies, and a biography of
Mrs Indira Gandhi.
He has also written the scripts for a number of TV
documentaries for the BBC and ITV in Britain, and a film he did on education in
India, "A Little Learning," won the award for the best documentary
script at the Venice Film Festival.
With Sarayu Srivatsa he co-authored 2
books and 2 documentary film scripts before his untimely death on 2nd June 2004.
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