Defragmenting India is an account of the various fault lines of Indian society quivering in the temblors that the 2002 Hindu-Muslim communal riots of Gujarat sent across the nation. The riots form the dramatic backdrop to the travelogue narrative of a motorbike trip of the author and his friend.
The book maps the urban consciousness of India by juxtaposing lives, issues and situations of educated and the uneducated, craftsman and conservationist, teacher and businessman, daughters and drunks from small towns and non-metro cities of India.
The narrative uses oral history, folklore, local legends, historical events, research papers, imaginative speculations, biographic anecdotes and graphic reportage in an elliptical and poetic narrative to weave a picture of a country in flux.
This book is absorbing.…[The author] looks at riots and aftermath and geography and people from the unusual perch of a motorbike pillion rider.