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*Mappillai. An Italian *son-in-law in India.FREE* Book launch

Hosted by the Consul of the London India Group
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Took place 2 months ago
Thu 23 May 19:00 - 20:30

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MAPPILLAI tells the story of European journalist Carlo Pizzati, who moves to Tamil Nadu in India for love. With wry humour, wisdom and acceptance, this memoir offers an intimate capsule of contemporary Indian history, of the associated Hinduisation and Westernisation of India, intertwined with the Indianisation of a European.

Talk cum book launch UK with Georgina Godwin

After a four-day wedding celebration where he rode in as King Carlo on a cart pulled by bullocks with pink horns, Carlo shares his time between a more urban existence in Chennai at his in-laws, and ‘living a barefoot life’ in rural Paramankeni in the villa he shares with his Indian-Welsh wife. At this home on a rather isolated, thin peninsula in the Bay of Bengal, he finds himself in the company of fishermen and goatherders, in a house with phone reception limited to a corner of the bathroom and unreliable electricity.

At one level, MAPPILLAI is deeply personal. With beguiling candour, Carlo tells of his struggle with two extreme, contradictory responses to India—fascination and suspicion—and his awkward attempts at cruising through a maze of bribery, bureaucracy and traffic. But it also offers a glimpse into the world of Western expats in contemporary India by introducing us to a host of colourful characters — from those who are overwhelmed by this nation’s noise and colour; to those who ‘go native’ in kurtas and visit ashrams; to those who believe that India is vast enough to accommodate their diverse selves as dreamers or yogis or artists.

But, beyond all of this, MAPPILLAI is the story of India. Over his decade long stay in this nation, one that has taken him north and south, west and east, Carlo has witnessed a land in flux—from the gloom and doom of Protected content the New India dream shattered, to the heady optimism of Protected content , right up to today.

Carlo Pizzati is the author of two novels, two non-fiction books and a collection of short stories. He’s also a seasoned journalist now working as Asia correspondent for the Italian national daily newspaper la Stampa. He has written for over sixteen years for La Repubblica, corresponding from Rome, New York, Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Madrid. He has covered the Northern Ireland strife, guerrilla war in Colombia, the narcos business in the Andes, illegal immigrant smuggling in Mexico, civil rights battle in Chile, pro-environment militancy in the French atoll of Mururoa, and the GMO battle in Europe and the US.

Over the course of his career, Carlo has also been a political talk show host on Italian national TV, a stringer for the WGBH-BBC ‘PRI–The World’ radio, a contributor to the Associated Press, Vanity Fair (Italy) and GQ.

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