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India with Sanjeev Bhaskar

Mystic River (#103)

Sanjeev's journey takes him to Calcutta, and beyond, in search of the spiritual soul of India. This vibrant city offers him a personal and revealing insight into the lives of the communities living alongside the extraordinary River Ganges. Visiting during Diwali, the festival of light, Sanjeev sees the city, which was once the capital of the Raj, in exuberant glory with exotic displays of fireworks and traditional and contemporary displays of worship. His quest for the soul of the city takes him to a recycling venue with a difference, but not before his constitution is tested by taxis and a cup of tea. Before leaving Calcutta there is time to observe a traditional, age-old ritual as he watches the Ganges reclaim the "goddess of the city." Leaving the glorious chaos behind, Sanjeev travels to Darjeeling to taste the most expensive tea in the world and experience the engineering feat that is the Darjeeling hill railway. At Rishikesh, Sanjeev creates a riot of colour and muses on the world's interest in this unassuming place. As a destination on one of the original "hippy trails," it became a hotspot for all those seeking spiritual enlightenment -- including The Beatles -- in the 1960s and 70s. He concludes this episode by reflecting on the calming influence of rites and rituals delivered at the edge of the Ganges, and the impact they have made on his personal pilgrimage. . [56 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

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  • Bombay Dreams (#101)

    Sanjeev's journey begins in Mumbai, India's glamorous financial capital, home to both the country's wealthiest citizens and the largest slums in Asia. Here, he discovers that an entrepreneurial spirit is thriving as strongly within the city's street-trading communities as in the country's millionaire business boardrooms. He also makes a cameo appearance in the country's leading soap opera and does a stint as a beauty contest judge. Next Sanjeev travels South towards India's Silicon Valley and the 21st-century city of Bangalore, where software engineers take care of the world's IT problems, and where India's bright young things head to make their fortunes. Further South, on the stunning backwaters of Kerala, Sanjeev finds that all this progress comes with a price, and he witnesses an exquisite display of the ancient art of Kathakali. [57 minutes]

  • The Longest Road (#102)

    On a moving and deeply personal quest to find his ancestral home, Sanjeev Bhaskar follows India's Grand Trunk Road high into the mountains and beyond, into Pakistan. It is Sanjeev's first journey across the border and it makes for a colourful, and often surreal, road trip. Along the way, he traces the journey made by his family in 1947, when they, and millions of others, were displaced from their homes following the Partition of India. Sanjeev finds out how India's independence came at an enormous price and caused the largest movement of people in history. [57 minutes]

  • A Camel Called Sanjeev (#104)

    Sanjeev Bhasker explores the diverse region of Rajasthan, and asks if India will get left behind with the changes brought by the modern world, or whether it will move with the times. Beginning with a Royal appointment in the city of Jodphur, Sanjeev looks at the role of the modern Royal in today's India, joins the Maharajah at a water conservation project and visits a traditional fort. Despite committing a social faux pas at the Royal birthday party, he is graciously welcomed by the Prince as they muse on the future of modern Royals. The journey continues into deepest Rajasthan as Sanjeev encounters a group of camels, some on a more intimate level than intended, and he finds out how original methods of living off the land must respond to India embracing the future. An introduction to Barefoot Colleges shows one way forward as equality begins to appear in the classroom. At the birthplace of Gandhi, Sanjeev has time to consider the teachings of this revered leader of men, and considers how Hindus and Muslims live alongside each other. At a unique city just outside Pune, he has a chance to witness a very modern approach to harmonious living where a purpose-built complex supports a safe, clean and middle-class existence -- demonstrating the extremes of modern India. At the opposite end of the spectrum, he reflects on his experiences as he returns to the city where he began his journey -- the richly traditional and historical destination of Mumbai. [56 minutes]

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