When the Big Apple no longer felt big enough, Dave Prager and his wife, Jenny, moved to a city of sixteen million people—with seemingly twice as many honking horns. Living and working in Delhi, the couple wrote about their travails and discoveries on their popular blog Our Delhi Struggle. This book, all new, is Dave’s top-to-bottom account of a megacity he describes as simultaneously ecstatic, hallucinatory, feverish, and hugely energizing. Weaving together useful observations and hilarious anecdotes, he covers ...
When the Big Apple no longer felt big enough, Dave Prager and his wife, Jenny, moved to a city of sixteen million people—with seemingly twice as many honking horns. Living and working in Delhi, the couple wrote about their travails and discoveries on their popular blog Our Delhi Struggle. This book, all new, is Dave’s top-to-bottom account of a megacity he describes as simultaneously ecstatic, hallucinatory, feverish, and hugely energizing. Weaving together useful observations and hilarious anecdotes, he covers what you need to know to enjoy the city and discover its splendors: its sprawling layout,some favorite sites, the food, the markets, and the challenges of living in or visiting a city that presents every human extreme at once. Among his revelations: secrets that every Delhiite knows, including the key phrase for successfully negotiating with any shopkeeper; the most fascinating neighborhoods, and the trendiest; the realities behind common stereotypes; tips for enjoying street food and finding hidden restaurants, as well as navigating the transportation system; and the nuances of gestures like the famous Indian head bobble. Delirious Delhi is at once tribute to a great world city and an invitation to explore. Read it, and you’ll want to book the next flight!
“His investigations are acute and amusing. . . . Expats [in Delhi]: send this to your friends abroad to give them an idea of what you’re going through.”
“There are passages of great sensitivity and superb writing. . . . Foreigners who intend to spend time in urban India . . . will be grateful for Dave Prager’s book.”
The story of the author's move from New York to Delhi. After living in Brooklyn for years, Prager (co-author: Poop Culture: How America Is Shaped by Its Grossest National Product, 2007) and his wife took up his company's offer to move to India for 18 months. Leaving behind their Park Slope brownstone, Prager immediately fell in love with Delhi--at least for a while. "Five months later," he writes, "I hated it." The couple would "vacillate back and forth between the two extremes--love India, hate India, love India, hate India"--before finding a balance between the best and worst their new home had to offer. Prager structures the book as a guide for other expatriates, with chapters on food, shopping, workplace culture and transportation (especially Delhi's traffic, about which Prager seethes). More than just a how-to guide, the book is an appealing memoir, as the author recounts his social blunders and interactions with curious neighbors. There are a few unsatisfactory moments along the way--e.g., his snarky swipes at New Yorkers and living in New York City feel dated and out of place. Prager's wife never quite comes across as genuine, and readers learn more about her misadventures with India's health care system than her work for a rural school trying to lift girls out of poverty. Some of the author's "problems" may occasionally induce eye-rolling for some readers--in one chapter, he details how his need for "periodic respites from…driving past beggars and slums and sidewalk-sleeping laborers" meant taking a room in a five-star hotel so he could indulge in sushi for brunch at "one of the few places [he] trusted the fish." These flaws aside, Prager is a solid storyteller, and the book is an enjoyable tour through an overwhelming and irresistible city. A cute memoir of living in India with some advice for expatriates as well.
Dave Prager is a writer, copywriter, and humorist and the author of Poop Culture. His articles and essays have been published in The New York Times, Whole Earth Review, and ArtByte Magazine among others, and he has appeared on NPR, the BBC, and National Geographic TV. He now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and daughter.