The First Firangis: How Foreigners Became Indian

Originally published in Scroll.in on February 13, 2015.

Book Review
Jonathan Gil Harris
The First Firangis:
Remarkable Stories of Heroes, Healers, Charlatans, Courtesans & other Foreigners who Became Indian

318 pp. – ₹495
ISBN: 978-93-82277-63-7
Aleph Book Company, 2015

Giambattista Vico, a Neapolitan philosopher from the late seventeenth century, suggested that it was ‘from Jove that the muse begun’. Jove, or Zeus, is the Greek god of thunder, and the cracking of thunder, its sudden irruption over the tapping of rain, startles the body and jolts it out of position, constellating in an instant a horizon of questions. What was that?

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