Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fatehpur Beri, India's Village of Bouncers

By Ellen Behri in the Times, my idea of brilliant journalism. Hanging around a club where residents of modernizing Dehli dance and carry on --“Only horrible people come here!” yelled one man, trying to make himself heard over the music. “We are horrible people!” --  she notices the bouncers:
Look closely and it becomes clear that the bouncers are all of a single physical type, their chests and biceps built like the front bumper of a sport utility vehicle. If they look like cousins, it is because they are. A startling number of them share a family name, Tanwar, and when the nightclubs close many will return to the same nearby village, a place where women walk down dusty lanes with their faces obscured by a cloth, balancing stacks of dried cow dung on their heads, much as their ancestors did three centuries ago.
As she says, the outskirts of great third world cities like Delhi are where modernity and tradition come together in the most dramatic way:
Lately, he added, it seems “there is a gap of many generations between father and son.”
This is why I read journalism; not so much to keep up on the “news,” most of which loses whatever relevance it ever had in a day or two. I read to learn things I didn't know before.

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