India & the world

A history in nine stories

  • Published 9.03.18

INDIA & THE WORLD: A HISTORY IN NINE STORIES (Penguin, Rs 1,999) by Naman P. Ahuja and Jeremy David Hill uses artefacts from museum archives to bring out the nuances of what it identifies as the nine broad time periods that world history is divided into. A considerable amount of attention has been devoted to locating India on the global stage and chronicling its exchanges with the rest of the world. The objects featured in the book bear testimony to how cultures have flourished as a result of assimilation and absorption. Some of the anecdotes, such as the German artist, Albrecht Dürer, making a print of a rhinoceros without ever having seen it, are quite engaging. Significantly, the book suggests that the stories behind the artefacts are more interesting than the objects themselves. The images thus play second fiddle to the text.