Of all the qualities the finest teachers possess and transmit, none is so precious as curiosity. In Graham Swift’s novel Waterland (1983), the history master, Tom Crick, exhorts pupils to “be curious. Nothing is worse (I know it) than when curiosity stops. Nothing is more repressive than the repression of curiosity. Curiosity begets love. It weds us to the world. It’s part of our perverse, madcap love for this impossible planet we inhabit. People die when curiosity goes.”
Namit Arora, who spent two decades in information technology before turning to writing, evidently never stopped attending to his inner Crick. The happy result is Indians: A Brief History of a Civilization.