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Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India

Author : William Dalrymple

About Author :

William Dalrymple is a British historian, writer, art historian, and curator. He is also a well-known broadcaster and critic. He has won many awards for his books like the Duff Cooper and the Wolfson Prize. He is also one of the co-founders and co-directors of the annual Jaipur Literature Festival.

About Book :

The book is a collection of stories about people who practice religion in different ways across India. A Buddhist monk is forced to resort to arms as a way of keeping the Chinese away from Tibet. He spends the rest of his life making up for his sins by making the best prayer flags in India. A Jain woman wants to test her power of detachment. She does this by watching her best friend follow a ritual in which she starves to death. A woman in Calcutta leaves behind her middle class family and her job in a jute factory. She later finds love and a fulfilling life as a Tantric skull feeder in a cremation ground. A prison warden from Kerala is a temple dancer for two months of the year where he is worshipped as a deity. A goatherd from Rajasthan keeps an epic alive and knows it by heart. A devadasi, who resisted her own initiation into sex work, pushes her daughters into the same line as she now regards it as a sacred calling. All the stories in this book talk about the different religious paths in India.