Opening lines of The Great Indian Novel narrated as a modern day MahaBharata.
They tell me India is an underdeveloped country. They attend seminars, appear on television, even come to see me, creasing their eight-hundred-rupee suits and clutching their moulded plastic briefcases, to announce in tones of infinite understanding that India has yet to develop. Stuff and nonsense, of course.
“These are the kind of fellows who couldn’t tell their kundalini from a decomposing earthworm, and I don’t hesitate to tell them so. I tell them they have no knowledge of history and even less of their own heritage. I tell them that if they would only read the Mahabarata and the Ramayana, study the Golden Ages of the Mauryas and the Guptas and even of those Muslim chaps the Mughals, they would realize that India in not an underdeveloped country but a highly developed country in an advanced stage of decay.”
They laugh about me pityingly and shift from one foot to the other, unable to conceal their impatience, and I tell them that, in fact, everything in India in over-developed, particularly the social structure, the bureaucracy, the political process, the financial system, the university network and, for that matter, the women. Cantankerous old man, I them thinking, as they make their several exists