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The Forum @ ICC in partnership with BITSSA presents a lecture by author Dilip D’Souza.

This Is A Free Forum Lecture

When: Oct 17th 2010 4pm-6pm

Where: India Community Center, 200, Los Coches Rd, Milpitas, CA

Register Here.

Dilip D’Souza  : “Roadrunner Yatra: Writing across America”

Dilip D’Souza was educated in Pilani, Providence, Delhi, Rishi Valley, Bombay, Cambridge, Austin and several places in between. At BITS,Pilani he completed a BE (Hons) in EEE . He was once a computer scientist, but now he writes for a living. People think of that as a major switch, but to Dilip, it seemed almost natural. Computer science stresses clear thinking, reason, logic and getting to the heart of matters. He likes to think those things shape his writing.
Dilip writes about themes like development, nationalism, science, poverty, as well as travel. His writing is fueled by travel, for he believes he must know and understand, first-hand, the issues he writes about. He searches for the small stories that hold larger lessons, because it’s in telling those stories that his writing is most effective. A column by him about two young engineers from Kerala who built a dam in rural Maharashtra and supplied electricity where there was none, provided the inspiration for a key segment of the 2004 movieSwades.

He has won several awards for his writing, including the Statesman Rural Reporting award and the Outlook/Picador nonfiction prize. He has published three books, a monograph of essays on patriotism, and has contributed to a number of anthologies. His most recent book is “Roadrunner: An Indian Quest in America”.Dilip lives in Bombay with his wife Vibha and children Sahir and Surabhi. He misses his Rhodesian Ridgeback, Shaka.

Roadrunner: An Indian Quest in America
Dilip D’Souza
HarperCollins India, 2009
What do we learn when one great democracy looks at another? Alexis de Tocqueville’s seminal Democracy in America answered that question in the 1800s. Today, India is the world’s other great democracy, and maybe the answers are different.

44ed7256cd3b0f823c70b9448a525492-1Through stories large and small, this book shows us America as refracted through the eyes of an Indian who is critical but not intolerant, understanding but not starry-eyed. From gawking at wall murals by German World War II POWs in Texas to getting to know the Bikers for Christ at the annual bike carnival in Sturgis, from charting the history of immigrant Icelanders to driving a fire truck in a quiet mountain town, the author travels American roads, discovering old cultures and new concerns in one of the most revered and reviled nations in the world today.

More importantly, he explores the lessons in that process, for India and for thoughtful readers everywhere, as he searches for meaning and nuance in ideas like patriotism and being liberal, in a country’s sense of self.

Passionate and perceptive, wry and empathetic, this book is ultimately about what it means to belong. Wherever you are.


Reviews:1) Sumana Mukherjee in Mint liked it:

2) Sanjay Sipahimalani in Tehelka was relatively critical:

3) Pramod Nayar liked it, writing for DNA (Feb 28):

4) Girija Sankar had an appreciative review in “Khabar”:

5) Kankana Basu, I think, best captured what I had in mind for the book. Her review was truncated in print, but the full version is here:

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