By Neha Kirpal 

“Drunk driving may rival golgappas as Delhi’s favourite nightcap. It’s a practice enjoyed by the richest BMW-driving trust-funder and the poorest autowallah.”

A hilarious account of American author, Dave Prager and his wife, Jenny’s roller-coaster-like adventures in the capital, ‘Delirious Delhi’ is told through a series of chapters exploring different nuances of the city. The book often doubles as a travel guide, sprinkled as it is with information about popular restaurants, shopping destinations, and other interesting sights and sounds.

The couple roams the streets of well-known hotspots like Greater Kailash, Gurgaon, Hauz Khas, and Khan market, making observations about people they encounter. They also draw stark comparisons between Delhi’s culture and that of their hometown New York, while sharing revelations on some of the city’s challenges – mostly to do with its traffic, sanitation, poverty, and crime. 

The narrative is sure to make you laugh out loud more than just once, as Dave battles with everyday fears and dilemmas through his interactions with colleagues, shopkeepers, domestic help, other expats {or ‘goras’ as he refers to them}, and just about everyone he meets. While studying the language, he wittily concludes the three indisputable Hindi phrases that can get you by in Delhi: “chalo,” “theek hai,” and “bhaiya.” It’s also amusing how familiar he gets with “dal makhani,” “paan,” and “gulab jamun.” In many instances, I felt reruns of ‘Outsourced’ flash in my mind’s eye.

The book ends, however, on a meditative note with what makes Delhi special for Dave and Jenny, what they would take back home with them, and most importantly, the change they wish to see.

Sure to resonate with every Dilliwala, ‘Delirious Delhi’ is a highly recommended read for anyone who knows, or wants to get to know the city.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Price: Rs. 399


About the Author | Neha Kirpal, a graduate from St. Stephens College, is the author of ‘Wanderlust for the Soul’. She regularly writes for {Little Black Book, Delhi} and also moderates the {LBBD} Book Club from time to time.