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May 26 , 2008

The Himalayan Bond



The Himalayan Bond is about a fascinating journey through India taken by two young men – one Indian, Dani, and one British, Roland – to explore the conflicting issues of globalisation and sustainability that affect both urban and rural areas in modern-day India. They take in the hustle and bustle of Delhi before heading to the lower Himalayas and Dani’s childhood home. Dani introduces Roland to the charm and magic of India and leads him to his ancestral mountain landscape, revealing the treasures, simplicity and spirituality of Dani’s heritage. The themes that the author has tried to explore, and his observations, are thoughtful and compelling. The story takes place against the backdrop of the International Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen in 2009. The author has written a lot of the book from his own experience and feels very strongly about the issues discussed as they threaten his family home and the countryside he is so familiar with. He explains the nuances of everyday living and provides a rare insight into age-old values somehow untarnished by modernity. During their travels, they explore and discuss a variety of topics: the history of the area and what the British Empire meant to people in India; old skills and traditions that are disappearing; the importance of rituals and karma and the way they are passed down through generations; the caste system and arranged marriages; environmental problems; poverty; farming; the effects of building hydro dams; how large corporations are displacing villages; how age-old sustainable ways and skills are being lost in the race for a modern lifestyle in the Himalayas and around the world; and party politics, with power as an end in itself. Tales from India’s history, mythology and changing lifestyle are used to help explain India’s rich past and the challenges for its future.
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