Nidhi Dugar Kundalia’s The Lost Generation: Chronicling India’s Dying Professions is a collection of essays about those professionals who are clinging to their traditional, ancestral trades despite the modern savage affecting the country in an improvisatory manner.
The book introduces professions which most of us might not have hear, even though living almost all my life, I haven’t heard them before. One thing about a profession is that it is well suited to those practitioners who have faith in their professions. This what Nidhi, a young journalist based in Kolkata, explores traveling all around the nation.
Her writing is a depth insight on professions such rudaalis, the women who are hired to cry when some rich person dies, the street dentist, the ittar wallah(ittar– a natural perfume oil derived from botanical sources), and the letter writer, the bookkeeper of family ancestors and a few more.
These professionals know the change is confronting and many of them are the last of their generations. One common theme observed in all of these essays is that the practitioners in ability to access aid as some of them are belong to backward castes and have no permanent residences and spend their lives in migratory nature.
I liked the way every profession is presented to a reader, the author certainly has taken pains in forming her chronicles in presentable manner with immerse research and has kept as short as she can to introduce a newbie. The astonishing part is how deep and vast at the same time Indian culture is. One can clearly observe that after reading this book. Her writing is fluent, a glossary is provided at the back of the book for regional words used in the conversation as well as a bibliography to explore more.
3 out of 5!