John Keay

Down By The River

Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India

By

Bloomsbury 260pp £20 order from our bookshop

Srikanda Stpathy runs a business that makes gods. His Tamil forebears began bronze-casting the Hindu pantheon for the Chola dynasty in the eleventh century and their descendants have been at it ever since. ‘The gods created man,’ says Srikanda, ‘but here we are so blessed that – simple men as we are – we help to create gods.’ Using the original ‘lost wax’ process, his little foundry in Swamimalai now supplies all India and beyond (well, Neasden, parts of New Jersey and California, and anywhere else that the Tamil diaspora has settled). His order book is overflowing; god exports are doing their bit for India’s booming economy. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Something of an 'eccentric billionaire’s hobby': reviews 'The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and… ,
    • "At the age of fifteen, drunk on stolen Chardonnay or stoned on pot at a swimming party, the thoughts that come imm… ,
    • For the latest Bookends, here's Alan Taylor musing on his stint as an assistant librarian. ,
    • A ‘pretentious ass and impotent arriviste’ who surrounded himself with ‘degenerates, hooligans, childish layabouts,… ,
    • . reviews 'Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life' by ,
    • "As Beevor shows, it was one of the most daring, dangerous and fiercely fought operations of the whole war. It was… ,
    • "The characters are very rich and very male, with astronomical ambitions. The potted biographies in this book sugge… ,