India is a land of contrasts. It is the world's most populous democracy, but it still upholds the caste system. It is a burgeoning economic superpower, but one of the poorest nations on earth. It is the home of the world's biggest movie industry after Hollywood, as well as to the world's oldest religions. It is an ancient civilization celebrating fifty years as a modern nation. Now, as never before, the world wants to know what contemporary India is all about.As she has proved in three previous books--her wry take on the marketing of the mystic East in Karma Cola; the rich historical saga of Raj; and the beguiling tales of A River Sutra--there is no better guide to India's multihued mosaic than Gita Mehta. She knows India in all its rich detail--its folkways and history, its culture and politics, its ancient traditions and current concerns. In Snakes and Ladders, she gives a loving but unflinching assessment of India today, in an account that is entertaining, informative, and wholly personal.From the Trade Paperback edition.